Verizon to publish phone records and update twice a year


As we move more into a digital world with the increase of online activity concerns grow among many people over our privacy and security especially with regards who gets to see this information, and US carrier Verizon Wireless is going to publish phone records requests and update twice a year.

The carrier has revealed that it will provide information on the number of requests it receives from various law enforcement agencies for customer’s records. This news comes as the outcry over the collection of data by the National Security Agency increases in the US.

The agency has been collecting millions of phone records from US residents via a secret court order that was revealed by a leak by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The carrier has promised to provide a report online at the beginning of 2014 and update it twice a year, and will include the total number of law enforcement agency requests it has received for criminal cases.

There will also be a break down with the information into categories that will include warrants, court orders, and subpoenas while there will also be other details about the requests. Verizon will be joining a long list of other companies that disclose such information that includes the likes of Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

These cover such things as email communications that are requested by the local police and federal agencies, but the reports don’t cover information about the number of orders that they receive via the secret court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to fight terrorism.

An advisory panel has recently pushed for a number of changes to the surveillance programs to limit the collection of phone records, which would be done by taking away the power that the NSA has to store data at its own facilities.

It is being proposed that instead that this data will be stored by the phone carriers or another third party, and recently shareholders of both AT&T and Verizon demanded that dealings with the NSA were disclosed.

AT&T wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that it doesn’t have to provide shareholders information about what it does with customers personal data, but stated that it does protect this data and abides by government requests for records only has far has it legally has to.

This program has been defended by the Obama administration and stressed it is critical for the fight against terrorism.

Source: USA Today.

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