Getty Images

Verizon Reports 150k Gov't Requests For Customer Data

The telecom says it's on track to get fewer government requests than in 2014, but it still far outpaces requests made to Google or Facebook.

By Jake Godin | July 8, 2014

Ever since the Snowden leaks revealed that the U.S. government tends to be a bit overzealous in its requests for private data, transparency reports detailing those requests have become more common. Verizon released it's second such report today, and the numbers are looking better. 

The report covers the first six months of 2014 and shows that Verizon received nearly 149,000 customer data requests from the government during that time. So far, that's less than half of last year's reported 320,000 requests. 

In comparison, AT&T received 302,000 requests in 2013. Google and Facebook received much less, getting about 11,000 and about 13,000 requests respectively and suggesting government agencies still rely more heavily on telecom companies than internet companies for information.

The report also says Verizon received 72,000 subpoenas, 90% of which Verzion says targeted three or fewer customers. That detail is something The Washington Post says is crucial for interpreting the numbers:

"For the first time, Verizon's described (albeit in pretty general terms) the number of Americans affected by each request. ... Requests can be written broadly or tailored narrowly. Complying with a broad request means potentially disclosing information on way more than just one customer."

According to PC Magazine, the subpoena requests are usually for information such as the name and address of a customer or any other data that may appear on a subscriber's phone bill.

And ZDNet points out that top secret and classified FISA warrants weren't disclosed in the report. FISA requests come from agencies such as the FBI or NSA and can compel Verizon to intercept phone calls or provide the government with stored content. 

While the government requires a six-month delay in reporting that type of information, the report did show that up to 1,000 national security letters were sent to Verizon that could have affected up to 3,000 customers.

  TRENDING IN U.S. NEWS
Girls Who Code Graduation Salutation from GitHubWATCHLIST
GitHub

Gender Bias In Open-Source Coding May Be Tech's Latest Setback

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Has Died At 79

An unconventional Valentine's Day dining option.WATCHLIST
Anthony Easton / CC BY 2.0

Top 3 Weirdest Places To Dine On Valentine's Day

High school and middle school teachers might not know the best way to teach their students about global warming, according to a recent study.WATCHLIST
Mikael Miettinen / CC BY 2.0

Apparently, Teachers Aren't Sure How To Teach Climate Change

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testifies during a hearing before the House (Select) Intelligence Committee February 4, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Alex Wong

Former Obama Official Says Hillary Clinton Should Stop Her Campaign

Aedes aegypti mosquitos.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Mario Tama

Hawaii Governor Signs Emergency Measure To Fight Zika Virus

Photo from the scene of the shooting.WATCHLIST
KNXV

2 Teen Girls Shot Dead At Arizona High School

TV personality Ellen DeGeneres attends The 41st Annual People's Choice AwardsWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Christopher Polk

Ellen DeGeneres Surprises Detroit School With $500K Donation

A group of children play at The Little Gym.WATCHLIST
Parker Knight / CC BY 2.0

Ending Racism Means Integrating Daycare

Singer Barry Manilow peforms during the curtain call of Manilow On Broadway Opening Night at the St. James Theatre on January 29, 2013 in New York City.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Astrid Stawiarz

Barry Manilow Rushed To LA Due To Complications After Oral Surgery

Injured patron wheeled into hospital after machete attack.WATCHLIST
WCPO

Police Kill Suspect After Machete Attack At Ohio Restaurant

A man reads the label on a wine bottle.WATCHLIST
 

Millennials Drank A Lot Of Wine Last Year

Edgar Latulip's Missing Person PageWATCHLIST
North American Missing Persons Network

Missing Canadian Man Remembers His Identity After 30 Years

This is not what "cord-cutting" actually looks like.WATCHLIST
Newsy / Danny Matteson

We Learned The Hard Way: Cordcutting Isn't Easy

Kanye West hosts listening party for "The Life of Pablo"WATCHLIST
Tidal / Kanye West

Kanye West Debuts New Music And Fashion In Classic Kanye West Fashion

Liang says he was patrolling a housing project with his gun drawn when he was surprised by a noise and accidentally fired.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Byron Smith

NYPD Officer Found Guilty In Shooting Death Of Unarmed Man

Southern California Gas Co. temporarily stopped a gas leak near Porter Ranch.WATCHLIST
Twitter / @socalgas

Months Later, Southern California Gas Leak Is Temporarily Plugged

Rep. Duncan Hunter from California pulls from a vaporizer during a Transport Committee meeting.WATCHLIST
U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure

Congressman From California Is A Vape Crusader

A sad man on a date.WATCHLIST
 

Men, You're More Likely To Lie About Valentine's Day Plans

Asking For A Friend: How Do You Deal With An Ex?WATCHLIST
Newsy

Asking For A Friend: How Do You Deal With An Ex?

OK Go's music video for "Upside Down & Inside Out."WATCHLIST
Paracadute / OK Go

A Russian Space Center Helped OK Go Film A Music Video In Zero Gravity

Demonstrators march on Ontario St. on December 29, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. Protestors took to the street the day after a grand jury declined to indict Cleveland Police officer Timothy Loehmann for the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Angelo Merendino

Cleveland Rescinds $500 Ambulance Bill Sent To Tamir Rice's Family

Anti-government protesters in Burns, Oregon.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Matt Mills McKnight

Weekslong Standoff At Oregon Wildlife Refuge Finally Ends

FitbitWATCHLIST
Becky Stern / CC BY 2.0

Man On Reddit Uses Wife's Fitbit To Find Out She's Pregnant

Photo of the Oregon protesters.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Standoff At Oregon Wildlife Refuge May Be Coming To An End

Stan Kroenke sits courtside at the Denver Nuggets game.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Doug Pensinger

Stan Kroenke Has 12 More Ranches Than You — And Way More Haters, Too

Mayor James Knowles packs up following a city council meeting in Ferguson, MissouriWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Scott Olson

DOJ Sues Ferguson, Missouri, For Denying Justice System Overhaul

A scene from the search for Titus Tackett.WATCHLIST
KMOV

Missing 3-Year-Old Found Dead In Iron County, Missouri

A exterior view of the Palace Theatre at the opening night of 'West Side Story' on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on March 19, 2009 in New York City.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Neilson Barnard

Aaron Sorkin Is Helping Bring 'To Kill A Mockingbird' To Broadway

Photo of a dog who hopped into an open police car in Florida.WATCHLIST
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Florida Pooch Plays Police Officer, Hops Into Open Cruiser