What is it?
It’s a specific request made by law enforcement or an attorney to preserve evidence, due to pending legal action.
What does it do?
Helps ensure that websites and internet service providers will preserve information of who accessed their systems, as well as any information posted on their site.
Sending this request can increase your chances of identifying the perpetrator and/or having evidence to take legal action. Without an evidence preservation request, this information may get deleted, since many internet providers don’t hold onto it for very long.
When should I send one?
If you are considering legal action - restraining order, filing a criminal complaint, or speaking with a civil attorney - you might need evidence from third parties who may have evidence relevant to your dispute. For example, in order to determine and/or prove who the perpetrator is, you may need evidence from intermediaries — like websites and email service providers — used by the perpetrator.
These intermediaries generally keep logs of every user who accesses their system to post information or send an email via that user’s IP address (which functions as a sort of personal identification for the user’s computer).
Generally, websites will not give out information (such as identification through IP addresses) without a subpoena. But even without a subpoena, they will likely preserve it for a while if you or your lawyer sends them a letter.
What does this type of letter look like?
What if I want to preserve evidence from Twitter?
Visit this link to find out how to submit an evidence preservation request to the social media site.