Privacy Policy

The organizations behind the Trolling Effects project share a commitment to free speech and privacy. We have established this Privacy Policy to explain what information we collect through this website and how it is used.

In this policy, "Trolling Effects" refers to all organizations and individuals that administer this website and participate in the Trolling Effects project.

We do not sell website visitor information under any circumstances, and we do not share nonpublic visitor information without prior consent except as compelled by law. (See discussion below.) We collect only two kinds of information on the Trolling Effects website: (1) anonymized use information for statistical purposes, and (2) information you choose to give us in web forms or by email.

The website does have an "export" function that will allow anyone to receive a copy of all public information on the site. This is to allow others to use demand letter data for purposes such as academic research.

Visitor information:

When you browse, read or download information such as blog posts, FAQs, or sample demand letters, only limited, data is collected. For visitors to our website, we log requests to our website through a program called cryptolog and do internal analytical logging (described further below) for up to seven days from when the data was collected.


Circumstances in which Trolling Effects may need to log and retain technical information for longer than seven days include when we believe it is reasonably necessary for this website’s mission and functionality, including situations such as:

  • site testing,
  • diagnosis of technical problems,
  • defending against attacks to the site,
  • handling a spike in traffic or other abnormal, short-term circumstances, or
  • research projects (in anonymized form) that serve our overall mission

In those and similar situations we will delete the information as soon as it is apparent that the information is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was retained. For more information on data logging and techniques we use to anonymize, obfuscate, aggregate and delete information, see the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Best Practices for Online Service Providers.

How Cryptolog Works: Cryptolog takes the IP address portion of the request getting logged and encrypts it, as well as a chunk of random data (“the salt”), using a cryptographic hash function. The salt changes every night, which should result in making it very difficult for us, or anyone else, to recover IP addresses from our logs.

How Trolling Effects Internal Analytics Works: Trolling Effects endeavors to gather sufficient information for analyzing our website and how visitors move within it without compromising the privacy of our visitors.  Trolling Effects’s internal analytical logging, which is separate from the Cryptolog logs, involves logging for up to seven days a single byte of the IP address, as well as the referrer page, time stamp, page requested, user agent, language header, website visited, and a hash of all of this information. After seven days we keep only aggregate information from these logs. We also geolocate IP addresses before anonymizing them and store only the country.

Cookies: We do not use persistent ID cookies on this site. We use session cookies, which do not contain any unique information. Session cookies expire when you close your browser. You can use Tor if you wish to keep your connection information anonymous.

Information submitted by users

The Trolling Effects project invites users to submit Demand Letters, and we suggest you redact any information you do not want us to have prior to submission. If you use our online forms to submit information (e.g., to report receiving a Demand Letter) you can choose to:

  • Do so anonymously. You can use Tor if you wish to keep your connection information anonymous.
  • Include your contact information (name, address, phone number) but have it kept confidential by the Trolling Effects project, or
  • Include your contact information in the publicly available database.

If you do not include a name or address in your submission (including in the Demand Letter), we will not have that information.

If you submit your contact information but ask that it be kept confidential, it will be marked as "private" in the Demand Letter database. "Private" information will be made available only to the organizations and individuals working on the project, and they are limited by the terms of this Privacy Policy.

If you submit your contact information for inclusion in the publicly available demand letter database it will be available to anyone who visits the site.

We may use contact information to compile more accurate information on the use of demand letters, and to contact you if we have a question.

We will not use or disclose your private information for any other purpose, unless compelled by law (see below).

It is up to you to decide what information to provide on these forms.

Third-Party Service Providers to Trolling Effects

Portions of the site, including our individual action alert webpages, are operated by a third-party grassroots campaign service provider or providers. These service providers may place session cookies on your computer. Trolling Effects' service providers may also log standard technical information, such as the numerical Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer you are using; the browser software you use and your operating system; the date and time you access our site; and the Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our site. Our service providers may also store and organize the personal information collected through this site on our behalf.

For all of Trolling Effects' service providers, hosting providers and any other providers we may use in the future, our agreement with each will require information collected from Trolling Effects' users to be kept confidential and disclosed only to employees who require such access in the course of their assigned duties. Trolling Effects also requires all of our third-party service providers to notify Trolling Effects if they receive legal process seeking information about visitors to Trolling Effects' website. 

Trolling Effects may change the specific third-party providers from time to time, and will transfer stored information to any new provider subject to similar restrictions and agreements. From time to time, Trolling Effects may work with third-party consultants or other service providers who may have access to personally identifiable information. In such cases, we will restrict their use of personally identifiable information in accordance with their assigned tasks.

Use of Third-Party Services and APIs

Trolling Effects' site also provides links to or interacts with a wide variety of third-party websites, including interactive links to sites like Twitter, telephone calling services, social networking, mapping services, or video hosting websites. Trolling Effects is not responsible for, and does not have any control over, the privacy practices or the content of such third parties. We encourage users to read the privacy policies of any website visited via links from or interactions with the Trolling Effects' website. Where appropriate, we will provide specific notice of these third-party services at the point of interaction. It is our policy not to include third-party resources when users initially load our web pages, but we may dynamically include them later after giving the user a chance to opt-in. If you believe a third-party resource is automatically loading, please let us know so we can address it.


If you have any questions about this privacy policy, please contact the site's privacy administrator at

Law enforcement and other compelled disclosures:

While Trolling Effects endeavors to provide the highest level of protection for your private information, we may disclose personally identifiable information about you to third parties in limited circumstances, including: (1) with your consent; or (2) when we have a good faith belief it is required by law, such as pursuant to a subpoena or other judicial or administrative order. Remember, information that you have made publicly available will be just that—publicly available.

If we are required by law to disclose the information that you have submitted, we will attempt to provide you with notice  (unless we are prohibited) that a request for your information has been made.  If applicable, we will give you notice in order to give you an opportunity to object to the disclosure and explain how to make an objection. We will attempt to provide this notice by email, if you have given us an email address, or by postal mail if you have entered a postal address. If you do not challenge the disclosure request, we may be legally required to turn over your information.

In addition, we will independently object to requests for access to information about users of our site that we believe to be improper.

Changes to Our Policies

The Trolling Effects Privacy Policy may change from time to time. However, any revised privacy policy will be consistent with our mission. If we make any substantive changes to our policies, we will place notice in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's newsletter EFFector and post notice of changes on this page. 

Here's how to contact us:

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