Last modified: 15 October 2019
These operational guidelines are for any law enforcement agency or other government authority (the "Requesting Authority") making a request to WeChat International Pte. Ltd. ("we", "our" "us" or "WeChat International") for disclosure of data about our users on WeChat (a "Request").
We respond to Requests made by a Requesting Authority in accordance with these guidelines, subject always to applicable laws and regulations. In specific cases, we may, having regard to applicable laws and regulations and/or for internal reasons, depart from these guidelines in our responses. We reserve the right to modify these guidelines where necessary and without providing notice, taking into consideration applicable laws and regulations and the evolving needs of the organization.
We provide non-public customer information in response to law enforcement requests when legally required to do so. We will scrutinize all requests to make sure they comply with the law. Where relevant or necessary, we may require appropriate legal and/or supporting documentation to be furnished by the Requesting Authority before we can provide the relevant customer information requested. Such documents may include a court order, subpoena, search warrant, authorization document(s) and/or other valid legal process, as the case may be.
As a matter of practice, we do not retain all customer information and/or customer content, which may be deleted, de-personalised and/or revised from time to time. Certain customer information and customer content may not be retained at all or if retained, may not be retained for prolonged periods and/or in a comprehensive manner. Some of our customer information and customer content are regularly overwritten, de-personalised and/or discarded.
Disclaimer on Requests for data not held by WeChat International: From time to time, we receive Requests for disclosure of data which do not belong to and/or are not held by WeChat International but a separate entity. Please note that where data and/or information are not maintained by and/or does not fall within the purview of WeChat International, we will not be able to render assistance on such Requests. The responsibility is on the Requesting Authority to make the appropriate Request(s) to such other entities and/or affiliates as necessary.
Note on Requests relating to Weixin accounts: We have and continue to receive Requests for disclosure of data in relation to Tencent Weixin (the "Weixin") accounts from various Requesting Authorities. Please note that WeChat is operated by an independent entity. We are therefore unable to assist with any Requests relating to Weixin Software and/or Weixin accounts.
WHAT KINDS OF REQUESTS DO WE RESPOND TO?
We respond to the following types of Requests:
We accept Requests from Requesting Authorities to preserve specified records or data, pending the issuance of valid legal process, for a reasonable period of time and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Please complete this form to make a Preservation Request. If we do not receive a formal legal request for the preserved information before the end of the preservation period, the preserved information may be deleted when the preservation period expires. In addition to the information described below (in "Form of the Request"), preservation requests must be sent on law enforcement letterhead, signed, and must include a statement with details about steps that are being taken to obtain legal process for the data sought to be preserved. In specific cases, we may need further supporting and/or legal documentation before we can respond to a Preservation Request. All our rights in this regard are fully and expressly reserved. Preservation Requests may be sent via the methods described below.
Requests from Requesting Authorities that give us a good faith belief regarding an imminent emergency involving risk of death, serious physical injury to a person or any risk of harm to a child.
Please note that we evaluate emergency requests on a case-by-case basis in compliance with applicable laws and regulation. Where appropriate or necessary, we may require the Requesting Authority to furnish relevant legal and/or supporting documentation confirming their authorization and/or legal basis for making the request, without unnecessarily jeopardizing or delaying our response(s) to the requests. Please complete this form to make an Emergency Request.
Legal Process Requests
Requests made in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. This may include Requests arising from valid search warrants and subpoenas and other valid legal process, or valid Requests made in accordance with applicable mutual legal assistance arrangements and channels. Where appropriate or necessary, we may require the Requesting Authority to furnish relevant legal and/or supporting documentation confirming their authorization and/or legal basis for making the request. Please complete this form to make a Legal Process Request.
RETAINING AND DISCLOSING OF DATA
FORM OF REQUEST
We will only respond to written Requests that are made in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Please clearly specify the following:
Please note that we may be unable to respond to any vague or incomplete Requests.
All Emergency Requests must be made using the form certifying the truthfulness and correctness of the Request.
NOTIFICATION OF OUR USERS
We respect our users’ rights and privacy. We may therefore notify the relevant user about any Requests for their data prior to disclosure, unless we are prohibited from doing so under applicable laws or regulations, by the terms of any legal process (such as a confidentiality order), or where we reasonably believe that such disclosure may create imminent [serious] danger or risk for us or any third party.
Law enforcement officials who believe that notification would jeopardize a law enforcement investigation should obtain an appropriate court order or legal process that specifically prohibits member notification. It is the law enforcement official’s responsibility to request that we do not notify a customer of your request because it would jeopardize a law enforcement investigation. We will carefully consider your request and our compliance with the same will be subject to applicable laws or regulations. All our rights in this regard are expressly reserved.
MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATY REQUESTS
We respond to requests of an international nature made pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty ("MLAT") and other applicable conventions, treaties or protocols entered into between Singapore and other foreign countries. The MLAT and other applicable conventions, treaties or protocols will usually determine how Singapore and these other countries can assist one another in legal matters such as criminal investigations or enforcement proceedings. Through an MLAT or other request, a foreign government can request the Singapore government for assistance in procuring evidence from entities such as WeChat International. If the Singapore government approves the MLAT or other request from the foreign government, and such documentation of approval is provided to us, we will give our best endeavors to render our support in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS
To the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations, we may seek reimbursement of our costs in responding to a Request.
We do not provide expert testimony support, except to the extent required by applicable laws and regulations.
WHERE SHOULD REQUESTS BE SENT TO?
All Requests should be sent to the following contact details:
emailed to email@example.com with the subject: Law Enforcement Agency Disclosure Request.
Please note that: