Verizon to Reveal Info About Demands for Phone Records

Verizon says it will publish greater details on the records requests made by law enforcement, beginning in early 2014. Here is Verizon's statement.

To the extent permitted by applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, Verizon’s transparency report will identify the total number of law enforcement agency requests received from government authorities in criminal cases.

In addition, the report will break out this data under categories such as subpoenas, court orders and warrants. Verizon will also provide other details about the legal demands it receives, as well as information about requests for information in emergencies.

Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo already publish transparency reports.

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    Late To The Party (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:34:41 AM EST
    And it would be also good to know how much money Verizon is profiting from its deal with the government selling our private communications.

    For wiretaps:::

    AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. But snoop on a Verizon customer? That costs the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that, according to industry disclosures made last year to Congressman Edward Markey.

    but how much do they make by aiding the government's spying on us?

    To discourage gratuitous requests and to prevent losing money, industry turned to a section of federal law that allows companies to be reimbursed for the cost of "searching for, assembling, reproducing and otherwise providing" communications content or records on behalf of the government. The costs must be "reasonably necessary" and "mutually agreed" upon with the government.

    Discourage gratuitous requests? That is funny..  it does not appear that the government is looking to cut costs on its spying programs, nor is the government looking to be more selective in their gathering of private communications of people on the internet

    ..phone companies developed detailed fee schedules and began billing law enforcement much as they do customers.....The ACLU's Soghoian found in 2009 that Sprint had created a website allowing law enforcement to track the location data of its wireless customers for only $30 a month to accommodate the approximately 8 million requests it received in one year.

    $30/month for 8 million requests???   $240 million?

    ...the fees can add up quickly. The average wiretap is estimated to cost $50,000, a figure that includes reimbursements as well as other operational costs. One narcotics case in New York in 2011 cost the government $2.9 million alone.

    it is no wonder why Verizon was the last telecom to participate, and why the other companies are resistant to turning over information about the spying program... it looks bad that they are making a lot of money by selling our private information to the government.

    Hot damn... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:09:14 AM EST
    the telecoms are robbing Uncle Sam as blind as they rob prisoners on collect calls.  

    Sometimes it's hard to figure who is the shadier outfit...the government and the corporation keep upping the shady ante.


    8 million requests!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:26:05 AM EST
    Apparently, another (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 01:39:01 PM EST
    new industry spawned by the NSA program is finding flaws in common computer programs and selling them to NSA.  The US pays handsomely for secretly buying or searching for these flaws  for potential mounting of cyber-attakcs.

    These so called "zero-day" flaws--used with zero days warning that the flaws even exist, were cited by the President's review committee as being information that should be turned over to software manufacturers to have the mistakes fixed rather than be exploited.

    Cynics might  place their bets on achieving reforms more on Silicon Valley's pressures that the NSA programs will undermining American competitiveness in offering cloud services or selling American-made hardware (which may be viewed as being tainted), than on pesky constitutional issues.


    Why should the taxpayer... (none / 0) (#9)
    by unitron on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 04:56:16 PM EST
    ...pick up the tab instead of the software company responsible for the presence of the exploitable flaw in their product?

    The point was that the NSA is buying the info (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 05:47:22 PM EST
    about the exploitable flaw, so that the NSA can exploit the flaw to facilitate spying on targets who have the exploitable software running on their PCs.

    Off Topic a Bit... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:55:53 AM EST
    ...but related to the telecoms.

    Geoffrey Stone, A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance:

    While Stone said the mass collection of telephone call records was a "logical program" from the NSA's perspective, one question the White House panel was seeking to answer was whether it had actually stopped "any [terror attacks] that might have been really big.""We found none," said Stone.

    The report said that "there has been no instance in which NSA could say with confidence that the outcome [of a terror investigation] would have been any different" without the program.

    (Judge)Leon said that government officials were unable to cite "a single instance in which analysis of the NSA's bulk collection metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature."

    So how many people does that make who have lied directly to Congress with impunity, plus our grand leader:
    The conclusions of the panel's reports were at direct odds with public statements by President Barack Obama and U.S. intelligence officials. "Lives have been saved," Obama told reporters last June, referring to the bulk collection program and another program that intercepts communications overseas. "We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information."


    Encryption pioneer RSA in bed with NSA (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 07:28:17 PM EST
    Details of the NSA's efforts to undermine crypto standards surfaced in September. But undisclosed until today was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set an NSA backdoored algorithm as the preferred, or default, method for random number generation in RSA's widely used BSafe software library, according to two sources familiar with the contract.

    Reuters' report suggests that RSA wasn't merely following the trends when it picked the algorithm and that contrary to its previous claims, the company has inserted presumed backdoors at the behest of the spy agency. The $10 million that the agency is said to have been paid was more than a third of the annual revenue earned for the crypto library.

    Before bidding a formal farewell to the algorithm, it's worth mentioning that Dual EC_DRBG was suspiciously absent from Wednesday's report issued by President Obama's advisory panel on NSA surveillance. We would have expected to see at least passing mention of it in Appendix E of the full report, the section that disclosed the US government's role in forging encryption standards. Alas, there's none.

    RSA (none / 0) (#12)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:12:21 PM EST
    is categorically denying this allegation. link

    What (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 05:16:44 AM EST
    I think they should do, since the government seems bent on continuing its voracious quest for our personal information, is to notify its customers on an individual basis about what information has been demanded of them, and what information they have supplied and to whom.

    "Publishing" details "to the extent permitted by applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations" is somewhat vague, in my opinion.

    How many hapless subscribers to Verizon will actually be able to easily find out if their personal information has been mined in the unholy alliance between these monopolistic corporations and the giant vacuum cleaner operated by the NSA and other bureaucracies?

    Google, instead of "publishing" transparency reports,
    should put warning notices on all searches, like: "This search may or may not be a little dicey and we are going to send it to the NSA as required by applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations. Have a nice day."

    That would be most helpful and also nicely intimidating as befits this new post-Bush era of Orwellian control.

    Or.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:06:33 AM EST
    ...they could stop collecting data they don't need and/or that it's customer base doesn't want them collecting.

    It's still a mystery to me why Tmobile and Google need to save my GPS data and the websites I visit.  I understand phone records, but beyond that, they could save themselves a lot of hassles and coin by just letting that data go.  Pretty sure if they did, they would have customers like myself waiting in line to sign up.


    Is Anyone Here Familiar with SharePoint? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Aspidistra on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 03:04:26 PM EST
    It's a web application platform that most companies use, which allows for all of an organization's documents, applications, policies, orders, code - whatever it is, it's stored on SharePoint.

    According to the Forbes article from yesterday, the people at the NSA made Edward Snowden their SharePoint administrator.  Even though it was a position that was supposed to be reserved only for FTE's, NSA managers broke their own rules and handed the job to a contractor because he was just so talented.  When I read that they had made Snowden sharepoint administrator, I gasped.  Today I told our office's SharePoint administrator about it and she laughed and laughed....talk about handing some guy the keys to the Kingdom.