Verizon says US government made 150k user data requests in last six monthsBy Himanshu Arora
The US government made approximately 150,000 demands for Verizon user data during the first half of 2014. The revelation came as a part of the carrier's second company transparency report, which it released yesterday.
Last year, the company received a total of 321,545 user data requests. Although it's hard to make a direct comparison, as the company never disclosed the number of requests it received during the first half of 2013, the figures do give a rough indication that the number of requests have gone down.
The nation's largest mobile carrier reported that it received 72,342 subpoenas, 37,327 court orders, and 14,977 warrants from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
In addition, Verizon also fielded more than 24,257 emergency requests and between 0 and 999 National Security Letters from the FBI (the company could not disclose the exact number due to reporting restrictions).
The latest report also reveals that a "vast majority" of the requests Verizon received were related to regular customers. The company received relatively few demands regarding its enterprise customers.
"We do not release customer information unless authorized by law, such as a valid law enforcement demand or an appropriate request in an emergency involving the danger of death or serious physical injury," the report notes.
Verizon said it provides contents of communications to law enforcement relatively infrequently. "Far less frequently, we are required to assist with wiretaps, where law enforcement accesses the content of a communication as it is taking place," the company said, adding that it received 714 wiretap orders in the first six months of 2014.
Verizon also revealed the details of user data requests it received from law enforcement agencies of other countries such as Australia, Canada, France, and more.