Verizon’s Transparency Report for the First Half of 2014

International Report

In January we reported demands in 2013 from law enforcement to Verizon for customer information in every country in which we do business (and had any such demands), other than the United States. We realize that we could have been clearer in that Report as to the basis of our reporting of our numbers outside the United States. Each number in the chart in our International Report was a tally of customer selectors at issue in the demands received in that country. A selector is an information point, such as a telephone number or IP address, used to identify a customer. The number of selectors may be greater than the number of customers because law enforcement may request information on multiple selectors related to the same customer.

We now report the same information for the first half of 2014, that is, the number of customer selectors at issue in the legal process issued to Verizon by law enforcement in every country in which we do business and had demands, other than the United States. In our next International Report, we will, in addition to reporting on the number of customer selectors in the demands we receive, also report on the total number of demands we receive. For example, if we received 20 demands, and those demands sought information regarding 30 selectors, we reported it in January and now as 30 customer selectors. In our next Report, we will report it as 20 demands regarding 30 customer selectors.

In addition, in this Report we also divide the customer selectors into two categories – subscriber information (typically requiring that we provide the name and address of a customer assigned a given phone number or IP address) and transactional information (billing data or numbers called). We also report, by the number of customer selectors, the number of demands for intercepts we received in Germany, the only country, other than the United States, in which we received demands to intercept content and are not precluded from reporting.

In the Report we made this January, we shared the number of customer selectors demanded for all of 2013. In order to allow for a more meaningful comparison to the numbers for the first six months of 2014, we present half of the full year 2013 numbers in the chart below.

Finally, as explained in the notes, there are some limits to what we can disclose regarding law enforcement demands.

Customer Selectors in Law Enforcement Demands for Data (Outside of the United States)

   Half of 2013* 1st Half of 2014
Country   Customer Selectors in Demands for Subscriber Information Customer Selectors in Demands for Transactional Information Total
Australia 1 14.5 23 0 23
Austria 4 0 0 0
Belgium 236.5 362 0 362
Canada 0 2 0 2
France 637.5 745 17 762
Germany 2 1498 1 669 670
India 3        
Italy 6.5 59 0 59
Japan 7 2 0 2
Netherlands 4 32.5 20 21 41
Spain 0 2 0 2
Sweden 0 2 0 2
Switzerland 30 12 0 12
Taiwan 0.5 0 0 0
UK 193 168 9 177

NOTES:

* In our first Transparency Report (January 2014), we reported numbers for all of 2013. We have simply halved those numbers in this chart to provide a more meaningful comparison to the numbers we now report for the first half of 2014.

1. In Australia we are precluded by law from reporting the number of warrants we received from law enforcement for interceptions or stored communications. As such, for Australia, we provide only the numbers of demands for subscriber information and transactional information.

2. In Germany, in addition to legal demands for subscriber information and transactional information, we received demands for lawful intercepts in the first half of 2014. In the first six months of the year, we received 981 such demands regarding 1388 customer selectors. All of these demands were for the interception of calls initiated in Germany and made to specified international numbers. By comparison, we received demands regarding 1192 customer selectors in all of 2013. We did not receive demands for interceptions from any other European country.

3. In India we are precluded by law from discussing any information about the requests we might receive from the Government of India or identifying the specific number of websites that we were asked to block by the Government of India.

4. In the Netherlands the Central Information Point for Telecommunications (CIOT in Dutch) program run by the Ministry of Justice requires telecommunications providers to store all subscriber data (name, address, service provided, name of provider, telephone numbers, IP-addresses, and email-addresses) in a central database that is accessible to Dutch law enforcement. The information we report here does not include access by Dutch law enforcement to customer data that are stored in the CIOT database. The Dutch government provides its own report on law enforcement access to the information stored by all providers in the CIOT database:  http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten-en-publicaties/jaarverslagen/2013/01/09/ciot-jaarverslag-2012.html

No Extraterritorial Demands

At the beginning of 2014 we stated in our Policy Blog that we do not believe that the United States government may lawfully demand that Verizon turn over customer data stored in data centers outside the United States. http://publicpolicy.verizon.com/blog/entry/thoughts-on-foreign-data-storage-and-the-patriot-act. We advised that we did not receive any demands from the United States government for data stored in other countries in 2013 and did not expect to receive such a demand. We have not received such a demand thus far in 2014, either. We explained that we believe that the appropriate manner for any government agency to obtain data stored in another country is to make a request through any applicable diplomatic channels (such as the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process) in its country. We concluded that if the United States government were to serve Verizon with a demand for data stored in our data centers outside the United States, that we would oppose the request in court.

In April 2014, it was reported that a United States magistrate judge in New York had signed a warrant permitting the government to obtain emails that Microsoft stored in Ireland. We agreed with Microsoft, other companies, and privacy advocates that the warrant was invalid because United States law does not allow the United States government to use a search warrant to obtain customer data stored overseas. That case involved the use of a warrant to obtain an individual customer’s email stored outside the United States by an email service provider. We remain confident that the United States government cannot use a warrant to obtain our customers’ data stored in cloud data centers outside the United States and filed a brief in court to ameliorate any unnecessary confusion or concern on behalf of our customers outside the United States who store their data in our cloud data centers outside the United States. http://publicpolicy.verizon.com/blog/entry/verizon-files-amicus-brief-in-support-of-microsoft.

Blocking Demands

On occasion, we are required by government orders, regulations or other legal requirements to block access to specified websites. While we have not received such blocking demands in the United States, we have received such demands in a handful of other countries. Generally, the blocking demands are issued because the websites are contrary to laws in those countries relating to child pornography, online gambling or copyright. The figures below relate to the number of websites we were required to block access to during the relevant period of time; we may be required to block access to in the specified country such websites for an ongoing period of time, but we count such demands only for the period in which they were initially made. We were also required to block access to websites in India but are precluded by law from identifying the specific number of websites.

Country Half of 2013*  1st Half of 2014
Belgium 18.5 25
Colombia 600 1324
Greece 212 15
Portugal 1 17
Italy 0 2
* In our first Transparency Report (January 2014), we reported numbers for all of 2013.  We have simply halved those numbers in this chart to provide a more meaningful comparison to the numbers we now report for the first half of 2014.

 

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