Verizon Communications Inc. today announced plans to publish an online report that will provide data on the number of law enforcement requests for customer information that the company received in 2013 in the United States and other countries in which it does business.
Verizon expects to publish an initial report in early 2014 and to update this report semi-annually.
Randal S. Milch, executive vice president, public policy, and general counsel – Verizon, said: "Verizon is committed to our customers' privacy, and we do not sell information that individually identifies our customers to third parties without our customers' consent. All companies are required to provide information to government agencies in certain circumstances, however, and this new report is intended to provide more transparency about law enforcement requests. 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."
Milch added: "In the past year, there has been greater focus than ever on the use of legal demands by governments around the world to obtain customer data. Like others in the industry, the aim of our transparency report is to keep our customers informed about government requests for their data and how we respond to those requests. Verizon calls on governments around the world to provide more information on the types and amounts of data they collect and the legal processes that apply when they do so."
To the extent permitted by applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, Verizon's transparency report will identify the total number of law enforcement agency requests received from government authorities in criminal cases.
In addition, the report will break out this data under categories such as subpoenas, court orders and warrants. Verizon will also provide other details about the legal demands it receives, as well as information about requests for information in emergencies.
Verizon is working with the U.S. government regarding the detail the company can report on the number of National Security Letters it received last year. Similar to transparency reports published by other major Internet companies, Verizon's report will not disclose information about other national security requests received by the company.