Trust & Safety and Law Enforcement

While creating and enforcing policies that define acceptable behavior for content online, internet companies will inevitably intersect with law enforcement agencies. In an increasingly digital world, harmful user interactions may come to the attention of law enforcement in two ways. First, content becomes the subject of a criminal or civil investigation; second, it can be surfaced proactively by platforms through user reporting and automated detection. In either scenario, this may require a platform provider to disclose user information to law enforcement to comply with applicable law — or to uphold company values.

In this chapter, we discuss how law enforcement works, how to process and respond to incoming legal process and emergency requests while distinguishing between reasonable and potentially overreaching law enforcement requests, how your organization may choose to make proactive law enforcement referrals, teams and roles associated with law enforcement response, and the opportunities and challenges T&S professionals may face when working with law enforcement.

Notice: Due to the ever-evolving nature of laws and regulations, the information in this chapter may not always represent the current state of requirements and obligations to which your company may be subject. Before acting on any advice or information provided here, check with your legal counsel.

In this chapter, we cover the following:

  • How law enforcement and T&S partnership work and why they’re important
  • Law enforcement collaborations and obligations
  • Opportunities and challenges from both law enforcement and T&S perspectives