Verizon outs first transparency report; 386 data requests from UK
As promised, US Telco Verizon has released its first transparency report for 2013 revealing that it received over 320,000 data requests from local, state or federal law enforcement agencies in the US and just over 5,000 requests from law enforcement agencies outside the US.
In the transparency report Verizon explained when and why it received requests for customer data including phone records, emails, location data from local and international law enforcement and government agencies.
Randal Milch, general counsel for Verizon, said that telecom providers receive more government requests for customer data than any other companies in any other industry for the fact that communication equipment are unique in terms of the information they provide to law enforcement agencies in performing their tasks of protecting citizens and bringing wrongdoers to justice.
“While 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. Our dedicated teams carefully review each demand and reject those that fail to comply with the law”, said in a blog post.
UK government sent out a total of 386 requests, while German agencies requested data over 2,996 times. Taiwanese law enforcement agencies sent out a request on just one instance.
Verizon revealed that it received requests demanding blockade of certain websites outside the US. In Colombia the telecom provider blocked access to around 1,200 sites which were believed to be involved in distribution of child pornographic content; in Greece Verizon blocked 424, Belgium 37 and Portugal 2 sites related to online gambling. India was the fifth country that demanded blockades, but the telecom provider didn’t reveal the numbers as the local law forbids it from doing so.