I know this question is not technical, but i did not find the "stackoverflow for legal issues" and I guess all you super users out there might know the answer.

Here is my (potential) problem:

  1. I have a free email account at a (inter)national email provider.
  2. I used the words "wikileaks" and "twitter" lately in my email.
  3. Some over-ambitious national security organization legally requests access to all accounts that behaved similarly.

Q1: Can I request the who-, when-, and why-information related to this legal request from my provider? Does he have to tell me which (inter)national organizations (legally) requested my account data?

Q2: Does the situation change if I live in Germany (and have a German provider)? I guess here are some German users. And I know that such a legal policy exists for our national credit rating agency. I can request who got access to my data, they have to tell me.

Please answer only if you know a good answer, I don't want to start a long discussion on this none-technical question.


This all depends on the company that does your email. In the US, most service providers (mail, twitter, facebook, etc) will notify you because you may have the right to challenge the discovery in court. Of course, there instances when certain TLAs* might swoop in and check you out and you will be none the wiser :)

I can't speak for other nations.

*Three-Letter Agency

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