Verizon’s Transparency Report for the Second Half of 2014

International Report

We have been adding additional details in each iteration of our International Report. In this Report, we report the number of demands we received in the second half of 2014 from law enforcement for customer information in each country outside the U.S. in which we do business (and had such demands) that does not legally prohibit us from reporting such information. We report on the number of demands for subscriber information, the number of customer selectors at issue in those demands, the number of demands for transactional information, and the number of customer selectors at issue in those demands.

This is the first time we have reported the number of demands, in addition to the number of customer selectors at issue in those demands. A customer 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 demands because a single demand may seek information regarding multiple selectors. (For instance, in France, law enforcement issued 465 demands seeking information regarding 639 selectors.) Similarly, the number of selectors may be greater than the number of customers whose information is sought because law enforcement may request information on multiple selectors related to the same customer.

In the table below, we report the number of demands we received in the second half of 2014; following that number, in parenthesis, is the number of customer selectors at issue in those demands. The tables in our prior reports only included the number of customer selectors (but not the number of demands); we have included that same information for those prior periods in the below table.

To provide more detail, we have divided the number of demands in the chart below into two categories. A demand for subscriber information typically requires that we provide the name and address of a customer assigned a given phone number or IP address. A demand for transactional information may, for instance, seek a log of numbers called.

We also report the number of lawful demands for intercepts (and the number of customer selectors at issue in those demands) that 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.

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

Demands for Customer Data (Outside of the United States)

   Half of 2013* 1st Half of 2014 2nd Half of 2014
  Customer Selectors in Demands Customer Selectors in Demands Number of Demands (Number of Customer Selectors in those Demands)
Country   For Subscriber Information For Transactional Information For Subscriber Information For Transactional Information
Australia 1 14.5 23 0 23(23) 0
Austria 4 0 0 4(4) 0
Belgium 236.5 362 0 173(193) 0
Canada 0 2 0 0 0
France 637.5 745 17 465(639) 0
Germany 2 1498 1 669 5(5) 224(325)
Hong Kong 0 0 0 1(1) 0
India 3          
Italy 6.5 59 0 4(4) 1(1)
Japan 7 2 0 0 0
Netherlands 4 32.5 20 21 15(15)  7(7)
Spain 0 2 0 1(1) 0
Sweden 0 2 0 0 0
Switzerland 30 12 0 12(12) 0
Taiwan 0.5 0 0 0 0
UK 193 168 9 146(173) 2(2)

NOTES:

* In our first Transparency Report (published in January 2014), we reported on the full year for 2013. Since that Report, we have reported data based on half-year periods. To aid the comparison between the half-year numbers we have reported since 2013 and the full-year numbers we reported in 2013, we have simply halved the 2013 numbers in the table.

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 second half of 2014, we received 941 such demands regarding 1504 customer selectors. All of these demands were for the interception of calls initiated in Germany and made to specified international numbers. 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/2014/11/04/ciot-jaarverslag-2013.html

No Extraterritorial Demands

Verizon provides cloud computing and data storage services to business customers around the world, including many non-U.S. customers in data centers outside the United States. In our prior reports, we advised that we had not received any demands from the United States government for data stored in other countries for the periods covered in those reports. Likewise, we did not receive any demands in the United States for data stored in other countries in 2014. Nor do we anticipate that we will receive such a demand going forward. If, however, the United States government were to serve Verizon with a demand for data stored in our data centers outside the United States we will oppose the request in court.

While Verizon received no such demands in 2014, we did file legal support for Microsoft when it received a warrant requiring the company to obtain emails that it stored in Ireland and give them to United States law enforcement. Microsoft challenged the warrant in court; and, we filed a brief with that court explaining 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 lower court disagreed but Microsoft appealed, and we filed a brief last month before the applicable United States appellate court explaining why the lower court had erred. Regardless of the outcome of that case, we remain confident that the United States government cannot use a warrant to obtain the data of our non-United States customers’ stored in cloud data centers outside the United States. Moreover, at the urging of Microsoft, Verizon and a host of other United States companies and privacy advocates, three United States Senators have introduced legislation to make that the law – that the United States government can only use a warrant to force a United States company to produce customer data stored overseas when the customer was a United States person. http://publicpolicy.verizon.com/blog/entry/leads-act-safeguards-cloud-data-at-home-and-abroad.

Blocking Demands

On occasion, we are required by government orders, regulations or other legal requirements to block access to specified websites. To be clear, these are requests to block access to a website, not a request to remove user content; we did not receive a request from any government to remove user content last year. While we have not received 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 in the specified country to 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 2nd Half of 2014
Belgium 18.5 25 11
Colombia 600 1324 972
Greece 212 15 15
Italy 0 2 3
Portugal 1 17 36
Russian Federation 0 0 66
* In our first Transparency Report (published in January 2014), we reported on the full year for 2013. Since that Report, we have reported data based on half-year periods. To aid the comparison between the half-year numbers we have reported since 2013 and the full-year numbers we reported in 2013, we have simply halved the 2013 numbers in the table.

 

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