U.S. Demands More Customer Data From Verizon

The telecommunication giant’s first-ever transparency report reveals that law enforcement requested customer data hundreds of thousands of times in 2013

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Responding to the growing interest in the U.S. government’s domestic surveillance of Americans’ private information, Verizon released its first-ever “Transparency Report” Wednesday, detailing hundreds of thousands of request for customer data from law enforcement.

In 2013, according to the report, Verizon received roughly 320,000 requests from federal, state and local law enforcement for customer information. That’s an increase over the number of requests the firm received in 2012, Verizon says.

Among the requests are subpoenas for information, wiretap orders, tap and trace orders and National Security Letters. Verizon received between 1,000 and 1,999 National Security Letters—government requests for information regarding national security with which the firm must comply—but is forbidden by law to disclose the exact number.

This year’s report does not say how many government requests Verizon denied, but it says the firm does reject law enforcement demands that are overly broad or vague, or simply invalid, for instance. In future reports—Verizon says they’ll be released semi-annually henceforth—the firm says it will report the percentage of demands it rejects.