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Verizon to Disclose Law Enforcement Requests for Customer Info in Report

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 4:22pm
Ben Munson

Verizon today announced its intent to early next year publish a transparency report detailing all the U.S. law enforcement requests for customer information the carrier received in 2013. The company plans to release the first report in early 2014 and then semi-annually after that.

The information in Verizon's transparency report will detail requests stemming from criminal cases. The report will itemize the data under categories like subpoenas, court orders and warrants. A Verizon press release stated the carrier will also provide other details about the legal demands it receives, as well as information about requests for information in emergencies.

Verizon is still confirming with the government the degree of detail with which it can report number of National Security Letters it received last year. Verizon will not disclose information about other national security requests received by the company, a policy it said it shares with other internet companies.

“Although we have a legal obligation to provide customer information to law enforcement in response to lawful demands, we take seriously our duty to provide such information only when authorized by law. We have released the lion's share of this data for the past two years, and we are taking this step to make this information more consistently and easily available," Randal S. Milch, executive vice president, public policy, and general counsel at Verizon said in a statement.

Earlier this year when Edward Snowden leaked NSA documents detailing the extent of NSA’s data collection and espionage practices, a top secret court order surfaced, suggesting Verizon was daily handing over to the NSA all U.S.-originating call data. The information in question, referred to in the court order as “telephony metadata,” includes the numbers of both parties, location data, identifiers like IMSI and IMEI numbers, and time and duration of calls.

A Wall Street Journal report from June said that AT&T and Sprint were handing over similar data.

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