You’ve read all the incoherent babble about PRISM and how the American Government has access to data from Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others. Of course, everybody denies it, saying they do not provide direct access to their servers. Of course. What good would do to the government if they had root on 10, 100, 100.000 servers? Not very much. Databases and log files are spread around the world. Direct access is useless. But as content creators have accounts with deleting privileges on YouTube, wouldn’t you think there are such accounts with more privileges? Like seeing the IP the user uploaded a clip or a photo? This sort of account is easy to setup, on forums are called moderators.

So, no, they do not have direct access. But they have a way  to search for information they need to trace somebody. You can bet on that.