Verizon puts out transparency report on law enforcement requests
Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) says it wants to be more open about how it shares information with law enforcement and its release of its Transparency Report is a step in that direction.
Set to be updated semiannually, the report outlines the number of 2013 law enforcement requests for customer information that Verizon received in the United States and other countries in which it does business.
"The past year saw an intense focus around the world on government demands to obtain customer data," said Randal Milch, Verizon general counsel and executive vice president, public policy, in a blog post. "We believe this Transparency Report is a constructive addition to the ongoing conversation about privacy and public safety."
The telco said that in 2013 it got about 320,000 requests for customer information from federal, state or local law enforcement in the United States. Outside of the U.S., the telco said it got a "small number of requests last year from non-U.S. governments for data stored in the United States."
The move comes at a time when telcos have come under great scrutiny by a number of groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed a shareholder suit against AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon on how they share information with government agencies.
Following the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April, Verizon Business was forced to give its daily call detail records to the U.S National Security Agency.
Data collection has been a controversial issue for the government and U.S. telcos like Verizon. President Barack Obama announced last week that the U.S. government will no longer conduct mass collections of Americans' phone data and house the information inside the government.
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