AT&T Follows Verizon's Lead, Discloses Government's User-Data Requests

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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AT&T says it, too, will disclose twice a year the requests it gets from governments for customer information. The carrier's announcement over the weekend follows Verizon's declaration on Friday that it would detail the requests that law enforcement makes for its customers' data both at home and abroad.

AT&T will report the number of requests it gets from police regarding court orders, warrants, subpoenas, etc., including how many customers are impacted. The first report is scheduled to be released early in 2014, IDG News Service noted.

"We do not allow any government agency to connect directly to our network to gather, review or retrieve our customers' information," said AT&T senior VP and general counsel, Wayne Watts. "In addition, AT&T only provides wireless customer-location data except in response to court orders and in emergencies such as missing-child cases."

Shareholders at both AT&T and Verizon last month expressed interest in the companies publishing such reports in an attempt to become more transparent following the scandal involving NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who revealed that the Agency was collecting information on millions of calls placed both to domestic and international locations.

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