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Verizon AT&T Communications Government Privacy United States

Verizon and AT&T Join the 'Transparency Report' Club 37

Posted by timothy
from the not-quite-the-same-as-the-invisible-men dept.
wiredmikey writes "Telecommunications giants Verizon and AT&T both announced (separately) this week that they would join a growing list of tech and telecom sector companies in publishing a 'transparency report' about demands for information from law enforcement agencies. Verizon said the first report would come in early 2014, with updates being published semi-annually. AT&T said it would also release a semiannual report starting in early 2014 with information 'to the extent permitted by laws and regulations.' The transparency reports will include things such as the total number of law enforcement agency requests in criminal cases, subpoenas, court orders and warrants. However, telecom and tech firms are still barred from releasing data on national security requests from the FBI and U.S. intelligence services."
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Verizon and AT&T Join the 'Transparency Report' Club

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  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @09:50PM (#45757457)

    It is not worthless. I for one am interested in non-NSA, non-FBI requests too. My local cops probably have more influence on me than the NSA anyways.

  • Re:Wrong Focus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SeaFox (739806) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @10:13PM (#45757541)

    It makes no sense.

    It makes perfect sense. AT&T and Verzion don't give a rat's ass about their customers' privacy. They're only in this coalition so they can give the appearance of caring, and so they can publish the reports. Putting out a report like this focuses citizen anger at the government, and not at them for not taking any sort of actual action. They can continue to play the "we're just following orders" card.

    The thing about AT&T/Verizon having such a huge swath of the telecom landscape is, while it really is bad for consumers, it also gives these companies the power to resist the government if they wanted. Lavabit gets the government on them and they're forced to fold up because they're a small operation used by the fringe of society. If AT&T actively ignored NSA letters the government isn't going to do much to them -- because they're AT&T and such a huge amount of communications (and by extension, the economy) is dependent on them being able to remain fully operational. That's what it means to be a "too big to fail" company.

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