Reddit Releases Its First Transparency Report

In its first-ever transparency report, Reddit -- the "front page of the Internet" -- revealed that, unlike other companies like Google or Facebook, it has yet to receive a secretive National Security Letter (NSL) request for information from the federal government. Released Thursday, the report also showed that Reddit has so far received a lot less government scrutiny than some of its Internet cousins.

Between January and December of last year, Reddit received 55 requests for user information from either domestic or international agencies, according to the new transparency report. Compare that to the nearly 35,000 requests for data that Facebook received, or the 32,000 requests made to Google, during just the first six months of 2014.

Reddit released its first transparency report two weeks after the site announced updates to its privacy policy and user agreement. "Transparency about our privacy practices and policy is an important part of our values," interim CEO Ellen Pao said at that time. "We will never change our policies in a way that affects your rights without giving you time to read the policy and give us feedback."

No International Responses without U.S. Court OK

The 55 information requests made to Reddit last year included 29 federal subpoenas, eight federal search warrants, five requests from international organizations, seven "emergency" requests (usually connected to law enforcement) and six federal subpoenas. Reddit responded to 58 percent of those with some or all of the information requested.

Reddit turned over the most information -- 88 percent -- in response to U.S. search warrants. The company, though, provided no information in response to any international requests.

"Reddit is a U.S.-based company," the transparency report noted. "As such, we will not turn over user information in response to a formal request by a non-U.S. government unless a U.S. court requires it."


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