Verizon reveals 300K requests for data in 2013

Verizon on Wednesday revealed it received more than 300,000 requests for data from the federal government and law enforcement agencies last year.

Releasing its first-ever transparency report, Verizon said the company received approximately 321,545 requests for subscriber data in 2013.

That included 164,184 subpoenas, 70,665 court orders, approximately 50,000 emergency requests and 36,696 warrants, most of which “sought stored content or location information.” 

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The company also received between 1,000 and 1,999 National Security Letters. Through these letters, the FBI can “seek only limited categories of information … name, address, length of service and toll billing records,” according to the report.

Companies are prohibited from reporting more specific numbers about the national security requests.

“Like all other companies to issue transparency reports, we are not permitted to report information on national security orders,” the company said, referencing the controversial surveillance orders issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and collection of data about U.S. phone calls.

The telecom giant last year announced that it would release a transparency report annually, and AT&T folowed suit. The small telecom company CREDO released a transparency report earlier this month.

In a blog post announcing the report, Verizon Executive Vice President of Public Policy Randal Milch called on the U.S. government to be more transparent about its surveillance activities.

Milch pointed to an existing framework that requires the government to report to Congress on certain surveillance activities.

“The United States government should expand on this existing framework and report annually on the numbers of all types of demands made by federal and state law enforcement to telecommunications and internet companies for data regarding their customers,” he said.

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