Updated LinkedIn Transparency Report: Including Requests Related to U.S. National Security-Related Matters

February 3, 2014

At LinkedIn, we’re committed to earning and keeping your trust in everything we do, so we have a high bar when it comes to responding to government requests for member data. We only provide data when we believe that we’re legally required to do so, unless it’s a rare emergency situation, and we carefully scrutinize and evaluate each request. We take steps to let members know before we turn over their data, unless we’re legally prohibited from doing so or the request is an emergency.

We’re also as open as possible about government requests for member data. This is why, since 2011, we’ve published Transparency Reports every six months. The Transparency Reports tell our members and the LinkedIn community how many requests for member data we receive from governments around the world, the number of member accounts impacted, and the percentage of requests we respond to. Our Transparency Reports have not included data about requests related to U.S. national security-related matters because the U.S. government has prohibited us from releasing this data in a meaningful way.

We believe our members and the LinkedIn community deserve to know this information. That’s why last September we filed legal challenges seeking the ability to provide greater transparency into the number of national security-related requests we receive from the U.S. government. And it’s also why, last December, we joined seven other technology companies and published a set of  government surveillance reform principles that call for greater transparency and accountability by the U.S. government as it works to ensure that our national security is protected.

With that in mind, today we’re publishing an updated Transparency Report for the first six months of 2013 because of a new reporting policy adopted by the U.S. government on January 27, 2014 that allows companies like ours to provide more transparency about U.S. national security-related requests. The new policy is a response to the legal challenges we filed last September and similar challenges filed by four other technology companies last year, as well as to our advocacy for surveillance reform.

As you can see in the updated Transparency Report, we have received between 0 and 249 national security-related requests, impacting between 0 and 249 accounts, for the time period between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013.

LinkedIn will continue working to ensure that the transparency that was won as a result of our legal challenges and advocacy is enacted into law. In addition to providing more information in our Transparency Report, we will also continue to advocate for still narrower disclosure ranges, which will provide a more accurate picture of the number of national security-related requests that companies like LinkedIn receive.

We deeply respect and support the U.S. government's obligation in protecting national security, and we look forward to working with Congress, other companies, and civil society on transparency and accountability that is consistent with this obligation.

Update: We've also updated the Transparency Reports for each of our reporting periods prior to the first half of 2013, starting with the second half of 2011, which was the six-month period of LinkedIn's first Transparency Report. As you'll see, for each of those reporting periods, we received between 0 and 249 national security-related requests, impacting between 0 and 249 accounts.