Verizon, like Google and other Internet companies, will release broad details about requests
Verizon Communications will report on law enforcement requests it received for information about its customers in 2013, following similar moves to those made by major online companies but not rival AT&T.
It expects to publish its first report in 2014, including data on requests from the U.S. and other countries. Verizon, the largest mobile operator in the United States, is one of two wireline telecommunications companies in the U.S.
Verizon released a press release Thursday saying that Verizon’s transparency report would identify the total number of law enforcement agency requests from government authorities in criminal cases to the extent allowed by U.S. and international laws and regulations.
Verizon stated that the report would classify requests under headings like subpoenas and court orders, as well as provide other information. The report will include information on emergency requests. According to the carrier, it is currently working with the U.S government on how much data it can provide regarding National Security Letters received. However, it will not reveal any other national security requests.
Verizon stated that it does not sell customer information but may be required to disclose such data to government agencies when necessary.
Randal Milch, executive vice-president of public policy and general attorney, stated that the company takes its obligation seriously only to release such information when required by law. “We have made the largest share of this data available over the past two years, and we’re taking this step to make it more consistent and accessible.”
Milch also requested more transparency from the government regarding such information requests.
Milch stated that Verizon asked governments all over the globe to share more information about the data they collect, as well as the legal processes they follow.
Microsoft and other Internet companies have criticised the U.S. government for collecting online and phone activity data. They have begun to release reports on requests that they have received. AT&T requested the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to remove a shareholder request for such information from its annual proxy statement earlier this month.