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Whisper

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LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSE GUIDE

This guide addresses Whisper's procedures for responding in accordance with U.S. law to legal process and requests for information about Whisper and Whisper users from U.S. governmental entities. This guide does not apply to legal process or requests from other domestic entities such as civil litigants or from foreign government agencies or litigants.

This Guide is published for Whisper’s convenience and for informational purposes only. Whisper reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to depart from the practices and standards set forth herein, and nothing in this Guide creates a right or the basis for a claim by a third party, including a governmental entity, or is or should be construed as a promise or guarantee that Whisper will act in a given way in any particular circumstance.

About Whisper

Whisper allows users to communicate without providing or disclosing their identities by posting content for public viewing and sending private messages. Most content on Whisper is posted publicly, so the public, including law enforcement, can view it at any time.

REQUIREMENTS TO COMPEL USER INFORMATION

Whisper is a U.S. company, headquartered in Venice, California, and requires valid legal process from a U.S. governmental entity or court. Except in certain emergency situations described below and consistent with its Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, Whisper does not disclose user information or communications content to a U.S. governmental entity unless it is presented with a valid subpoena, court order, search warrant, or other legal process issued by a United States court or entity that is sufficient under U.S. law to compel the information sought. If you are a foreign governmental entity or law enforcement, you will need to cooperate with the U.S. government through an appropriate legal mechanism to seek information from Whisper.

WHAT INFORMATION DOES WHISPER STORE?

Whisper allows users to communicate without providing or disclosing their identities by posting content for public viewing and sending private messages. Most content on Whisper is posted publicly, so the public, including law enforcement, can view it at any time.

WHISPER RECORDS MAY INCLUDE

  • Nicknames
  • Creation date
  • Last login date
  • IP address
  • Chat log timestamps
  • Device type
  • Location information (geo lat/long and IP address)
  • Content of whispers

Whisper assigns a non-unique nickname to each user. Multiple users may be assigned the same nickname and users can change their nickname at any time as many times as they like. Whisper is unlike other services because Whisper users do not generally provide to Whisper their names, email addresses, phone numbers, or similar identifying information.

Location information may not be available, for example, when it is not transmitted to Whisper. Whisper may retain, for a limited time, IP addresses associated with a device that accessed Whisper, but Whisper is not able to match posted content with an exact IP address. Furthermore, Whisper is not able to identify a user based on an IP address. Contents of private messages among users are not stored. Whisper stores content posted for public viewing and usage data in accordance with its Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The type of legal process required to compel Whisper to produce information depends upon the type of information sought. For example, Whisper can be compelled to produce a user’s basic subscriber information in response to a trial, grand jury, or administrative subpoena. Whisper content and location information, however, require a valid search warrant.

HOW TO SUBMIT LAW ENFORCEMENT REQUESTS

U.S. governmental entities must submit with every request or piece of legal process specific information that Whisper needs to search its stored data. Because Whisper does not collect personally identifying information or assign unique nicknames, Whisper may not be able to identify any particular user based solely on information pertaining to a public whisper. To facilitate law enforcement requests, include:

  1. The user’s Whisper nickname(s) (case sensitive) with a brief explanation of how the nickname(s) sought came to scrutiny relative to Whisper;
  2. An image of the user’s public Whisper post (image with text), the precise text of the particular Whisper with respect to which information is sought, or the unique URL for the public Whisper about which the legal process is seeking information;
  3. The specific information that is requested and its relationship to your investigation; and,
  4. The date by which a response is requested.

Whisper can preserve records or information in response to preservation requests issued under 18 U.S.C. § 2703(f). Preservation requests must identify the whisper and information to be preserved with specificity.

HOW TO SUBMIT LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCIES

Whisper may disclose information U.S. governmental entities when Whisper believes, in good faith, that an emergency involving a danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires disclosure without delay.

If a U.S. governmental entity believes that such an emergency exists, it should provide to Whisper the following information, in writing, via the link below:

  1. A summary of the emergency;
  2. An explanation of how the emergency involves a danger of death or serious physical injury that requires disclosure of the records sought without delay;
  3. An explanation of how the requested records or communications relate to the emergency; and
  4. An explanation of why the emergency precludes the entity from obtaining legal process.

In addition, Whisper requires the following information to verify that the emergency request is from a U.S. law enforcement authority:

  • Requesting Agent name; and
  • Requesting Agent and Agency work contact information, such as a governmental email address, phone number, fax number, or mailing address.

CHILD SAFETY

Whisper reports any apparent instances of child exploitation it discovers to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), including content drawn to our attention by government requests or legal process. If a request or legal process relates to a child exploitation or safety matter, please specify those circumstances to ensure that we are able to address these matters as quickly as possible. NCMEC coordinates with the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC).

USER NOTICE OF GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY LEGAL PROCESS AND REQUESTS

Unless prohibited by a court order issued under 18 U.S.C. § 2705 or other applicable statute, Whisper may provide notice to the affected users of governmental entity legal process or requests for their information consistent with its Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

COST REIMBURSEMENT

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2706, Whisper may seek reimbursement for its costs that are reasonably necessary and directly incurred in searching for, assembling, reproducing or providing user information or content in response to compulsory law enforcement process.

LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSE GUIDE DISCLAIMER

This guide addresses Whisper's procedures for responding in accordance with U.S. law to legal process and requests for information about Whisper and Whisper users from U.S. governmental entities. This guide does not apply to legal process or requests from other domestic entities such as civil litigants or from foreign government agencies or litigants.

This Guide is published for Whisper’s convenience and for informational purposes only. Whisper reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to depart from the practices and standards set forth herein, and nothing in this Guide creates a right or the basis for a claim by a third party, including a governmental entity, or is or should be construed as a promise or guarantee that Whisper will act in a given way in any particular circumstance.

CONTACT INFORMATION

U.S. governmental entities may send inquiries, legal process or requests for records to Whisper at:

Email: law@whisper.sh
Facsimile: 310-421-9200

This contact information is provided for Whisper’s convenience for use by U.S. governmental entities only and Whisper does not waive and expressly reserves its available objections.