Verizon to report on U.S. law-enforcement data requests


Verizon Communications will note on law-enforcement requests for informative data on its customers that it received in 2013, following similar moves that major online companies have made but rival AT&T has not.

The carrier expects to place out its initial report in early 2014 with data about requests from the U.S. and other countries where it operates. Verizon is among the two incumbent wireline telecommunications carriers in the U.S. and the parent company of Verizon Wireless, the country’s biggest mobile operator.

“To the extent permitted by applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, Verizon’s transparency report will identify the total quantity of police agency requests received from government authorities in criminal cases,” Verizon said in a media release on Thursday.

The report will categorise the requests under subpoenas, court orders and warrants and provide several other information, Verizon said. It will even include details about requests for information in emergencies. The carrier said it is dealing with the U.S. government on what much detail it can offer about the National Security Letters it received; nonetheless, it won’t reveal details about other national security requests.

Verizon said it doesn’t sell information that identifies individual customers but is required to provide such data to government agencies in some situations.

“We take our duty seriously to offer such information only when authorised by law,” the business said in a statement attributed to Randal Milch, executive vice president of public policy and general counsel. “We have released the lion’s share of this data for days gone by a couple of years, and we’re taking this step to make this information more consistently and easily available.”

Milch also asked for more government transparency about such information requests.

“Verizon calls on governments around the globe to offer more information on the types and levels of data they collect and the legal processes that apply if they achieve this,” Milch said.

Microsoft and other Internet companies have criticised the U.S. government’s assortment of data about phone and online activity and have begun to issue reports on the requests they receive. Earlier this month, AT&T asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to agree that it could remove a shareholder request for such reports from its annual proxy statement.


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