Verizon Gets 150,000 Law Enforcement Data Requests

Verizon says it received about 150,000 demands for customer data from law enforcement agencies in the first half of 2015, which is about on par with the past few years.

That is according to the company's latest transparency report.

According to a company spokesman, the information included "demands for customer data regarding our Verizon wireline services, such as phone, Internet or television, and our Verizon Wireless services."

The company said most of the requests were for consumer customers, not enterprise (business) customers.

Verizon points out those were demands, and that it reviews them and does not give up info on all the requests, rejecting some as legally invalid. Other reasons include that the consumers were served by a different carrier, or the requests were for information it did not have.

Of that total, 69,524 were subpoenas, which is information Verizon is required to turn over.

The report does not include any 2015 requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the bulk data collection that has come under such scrutiny following the Edward Snowden leaks. Telecoms must delay the release of that info by six months.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.