This guide is for law enforcement authorities seeking information about SoundCloud users and accounts in the course of criminal investigations. It is also intended as a reference for SoundCloud users who are interested in finding out more about our policies and processes for handling law enforcement requests.
If you are not a law enforcement official and have a request for our team, you can contact us via our reporting center.
What is SoundCloud?
Our guiding principles
Information stored by SoundCloud
Submitting a user information request
Foreign law enforcement authorities
How to submit your request
Production of records
Emergency disclosure requests
How to submit an emergency disclosure request
Assisting a SoundCloud user
SoundCloud is an audio hosting service that allows users to create, post and share sounds anywhere on the web.
Content uploaded by users to our platform can be shared to third party services (e.g. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter) or embedded on an external website, using our embedded player.
Individuals can access our platform both on computers and via most Android and iPhone devices via our mobile app. You do not need to have an account to access content hosted on SoundCloud.
In order to avail of our hosting services, individuals must have a registered account. We offer a variety of account types which provide different features, tools and services. You can find out more about our account options here. More information about our platform & company is available here.
We believe in respecting both our users’ rights and the laws which govern our company’s operations. When it comes to processing information requests related to our users, we follow the below principles.
We will comply with valid requests for user information received from law enforcement, in accordance with the terms outlined in this guide and the applicable legal process.
We require that all requests be related to specific accounts, implicated in specific investigations undertaken by law enforcement. We reserve the right to reject requests which are overly broad or which lack details regarding the relationship between the requested information and how it relates to an ongoing investigation.
In exceptional circumstances, we may elect to not provide user notice e.g. in the case of an emergency disclosure request.
Some information we store is collected automatically, while other information is entered by the user, at their discretion. While we store the information we are provided, we cannot always guarantee its accuracy or if it relates to a real person. For example, a user may have created a fake profile, or provided us with inaccurate information. We do not require the use of real names, email verification or identity authentication.
Most account information is public on SoundCloud, which means that anyone can see it. A SoundCloud profile may contain: a profile photo, a display name, uploaded tracks, playlists (i.e. a collection of tracks, organized by the user) etc.
Additionally, a user has the option to include their “real name”, location, URLs and a short description about their account in their “bio” section, just underneath their profile image. You do not need a SoundCloud account in order to view information or content which is posted publicly.
Information not publicly visible, relating to registered users on our platform may include, but is not limited to:
We can only disclose requested information to a competent authority, when we are obliged to do so by applicable law.
We can only respond to information requests filed by German authorities. Therefore, we must request that all international law enforcement authorities follow the relevant cross border assistance procedure. General guidance on the process can be found here.
Your request must be made on law enforcement letterhead, signed by the requesting agent. This can be sent via email, fax or post. Our contact details are provided at the bottom of this guide. Please note that we will not review or respond to any requests from non-law enforcement officials or non-valid email addresses.
All requests for user information must include the following:
Unless otherwise requested, we will provide records in electronic format (i.e. PDF files), which can be opened with the majority of word processing software.
You must submit an emergency request via email, with the subject line EMERGENCY DISCLOSURE REQUEST. These requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must include all of the following:
SoundCloud users aware of an emergency situation should contact local law enforcement officials for assistance.
If you are assisting a SoundCloud user with an investigation, and need to obtain a copy of their non-public SoundCloud account information, please ask the user to contact us directly (contact details below). We can then assist the individual with obtaining the required information.
Fax: 0049-30-2241495 (ATTN: ComOps Trust & Safety Team)
Non-law enforcement requests for assistance must be submitted via our reporting center.
Version December 2014
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