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After Significant NSA Silence, Verizon Now Promises Transparency
by Karl Bode 10:22AM Friday Dec 20 2013
Verizon and AT&T's silence during the recent NSA Snowden revelations was quite telling, neither telco obviously wanting to risk legal liability (or government contracts) for what numerous whistleblowers have now shown is incredibly deep and often illegal (at least until they lobbied to have the laws changed) cooperation with government. In fact, the only time Verizon spoke on the matter at all was to mock Google and Yahoo for "grandstanding" as the companies fought for the right to disclose FISA court government data requests.

With the recent Judge declaration that bulk metadata collection is unconstitutional, a government advisory panel making more serious reform recommendations than anyone expected, and even investors pushing telcos for a little more honesty, Verizon apparently feels there's a sea change afoot that requires they actually bother to do and/or say something.

That something, according to the Verizon policy blog, is a new transparency report that will disclose the law enforcement requests they receive for data semi-annually. Again, the report won't include intelligence requests, as companies still aren't legally allowed to disclose even generic, anonymized data on that front.

“In the past year, there has been greater focus than ever on the use of legal demands by governments around the world to obtain customer data," states Verizon General Counsel Randal Milch. "Like others in the industry, the aim of our transparency report is to keep our customers informed about government requests for their data and how we respond to those requests. Verizon calls on governments around the world to provide more information on the types and amounts of data they collect and the legal processes that apply when they do so."

While belated, and only coming after Verizon mocked other companies for their own transparency pushes, it's a welcome shift all the same. Surely AT&T will be following in Verizon's footsteps shortly?

Update: Ask and ye shall receive. AT&T has issued a similar statement insisting they too will begin issuing transparency reports that detail the number of law enforcement requests for information received by the telco.

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cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

Short term BS...

Once Verizon sees the loss of revenue for every request...back to sleeping with the wolves...
--
Splat

StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:3

LOL

said by Karl Bode:

Surely AT&T will be following in Verizon's footsteps shortly?

LOL. And I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'm willing to sell you cheap
--
Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD

Re: LOL

Perhaps you would like to also invest in some valuable brand-new Beachfront Property in Nevada and/or Arizona?

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:42
Ask and ye shall receive!

»www.prnewswire.com/news-releases···591.html

(though how much this does when AT&T/Verizon's biggest criticisms have been their intelligence gathering practices is another question)

exocet_cm
Free at last, free at last
Premium
join:2003-03-23
New Orleans, LA
kudos:3

2 recommendations

BS

quote:
is a new transparency report that will disclose the law enforcement requests they receive for data semi-annually
That doesn't mean sh*t Verizon. When I was in an investigative capacity, I sent in LEO requests for user information on a regular basis. These requests are court-ordered search warrants or subpoenas signed by a judge with PROBABLE CAUSE for a search.

What we, the American people want, is not a disclosure of how many PROPERPLY SUBMITTED requests come in, but how many BS, "super secret" fly-under-the-radar requests come in.

Why do you think most of the US and a large portion of the world are pissed right now? Not because of following the rules (your "solution" for being transparent) but because rules weren't being followed (the root of the problem that you aren't disclosing). Nice try, go home and try again.
--
"All newspaper editorial writers ever do is come down from the hills after the battle is over and shoot the wounded." - Bruce Anderson
"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." - Xenocrates
Check out my blog: »www.johndball.com
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: BS

EXACTLY!

chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

How Verizon will respond

Here Have the Data says Verizon after you pay us for it!

Freddy
Premium
join:2005-05-17
Arlington, VA
kudos:2

Another View

There's always two, or more, sides to a story. Here is another view that appeared in an editorial in today's The Washington Post:

»www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/···ory.html

Freddy
clone

join:2000-12-11
Portage, IN
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

1 recommendation

Re: Another View

Say it ain't so, Freddy! A Washington Post opinion article written by an establishment sycophant disagrees with the ruling?!

Color me shocked!

I wouldn't exactly call that "the other side of the story". I'd call it whitewash/damage control PR by government shills.

Freddy
Premium
join:2005-05-17
Arlington, VA
kudos:2

Re: Another View

The question about NSA activities is a legal one. You have to make a legal case. You're not doing that.

The final disposition of the NSA question will be decided on a legal basis, not on people's personal preferences.

That article in The Washington Post is based on proper legal reasoning, written by those qualified to do so. Look at the authors at the top of the article.

Freddy
clone

join:2000-12-11
Portage, IN
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

Re: Another View

Your appeal to authority sickens me. "Proper legal reasoning". People "qualified" to have an opinion. Every citizen of this country is qualified to have an opinion. At least, in theory, that's how the government should operate. The last 15 years or so have been a giant middle finger to the people of our nation, those in power come right out and tell us they don't give a shit what we want.

"People's personal preferences" are the entire reason for the operation of the government. While there may be a slew of legal loopholes that the slimebag spooks can use to slither out of jailtime, it's perfectly clear that the people don't want the NSA spying on them.

It's not as much about illegal or legal as it is right and wrong. If the people don't want it, it shouldn't be done. Period.

Freddy
Premium
join:2005-05-17
Arlington, VA
kudos:2

2 edits

Re: Another View

Yeah, your all comments involve political, not legal, issues surrounding the NSA program. Whatever reforms, if any, ultimately emerge from this controversy will likely address political concerns, as well as legal concerns.

Politics always is involved in these matters. In the final analysis, the courts together with the President and the Congress will decide the outcome. Don't forget, the so called NSA spying program has been judged legal, not only by the courts, but by the Congress. The Congress has authorized it. We'll see how this ends. Too early to tell how this ends, at this time.

Also, let's not forget, the purpose of the NSA program is to help prevent terrorist attacks. The program does not spy on Americans, like has been charged and repeated time-and-again by some. Who knows why. Let's not help terrorists and criminals by curtailing a program that is designed to help keep us all safe.

Freddy
Expand your moderator at work

FreedomThink

@mycingular.net
Don't forget who owns the Washington post. Amazon CEO Jeff bezos. Conflicts of interest are common in the world of trilateral corrupt corporations

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

I am certain that Verizon will be...

No LESS transparent than the Osama... errrr Obama Administration has been. Prepare for more half truths, obfuscations and out and out lies.

Twaddle

@charter.com

There will come a day....

As it stands the NSA can and does do anything it damn well pleases. Congress SCOTUS and POTUS just goose step to the desires of the alphabet soup Boys. Our Bill of Rights don't mean squat to these people. If they so desired they could make ANYTHING LEGAL and the only thing you or I can do is either deal with it or suffer the consequences. Remember who has the hammer here. It's not Joe taxpayer that's for damned sure.

Anon Name

@cox.net

NSA Builds Largest US DC in Utah- You won't see "whats next" coming! LOL

In advance.. Mods if you need me to modify this to stay more on the Verizon topic I will although it all plays in when NSA spying on US Citizens is in the conversation.. I exercised the email option so I can be contacted to tone it down if needed.. Please let me know. Thanks!

OK....Data Centers are just that.. Centers for Data.. That Org has more DC dedicated sq footage than Facebook's western coverage in a single location.. They are not used to watch meta data about me and you sift innocently past being screened by word, phrase, and other algorithms to ID potential threats.. They are storing EVERYTHING! I see the response to Verizon's transparency as no response at all.. With all that we know.. Is it legal for me to be monitored by video everywhere I go.. Web Based.. guess what.. NSA Access all day.. Email meta data is that information page when Windows users right click and go to Properties and select Details tab right?? Name of author, date time, path on the computer hard drive, the packet contains your address unless you are spoofing something and they'll figure that out and look closer.. Jezzz People lets stop waiting to see what comes next.. They'll be so close we won't know it hit us.. Sorry emot got the best of me fer a sec.. LOL

Legal is the Protection of OUR rights.. LEGAL should be the lesser argument when rights vs law are unclear. How many legal arguments end with decisions using the words I would rather err on the side of liberty than on the side of injustice?? That is the way our system was designed to operate with the least resistance.
*#*!@#E$@.. The founding fathers have disowned us and taken all the tru Masons with them because OPPRESSION makes up the legs the Dec of Independence stands on.. When A governing body no longer acts in the interests of its people it no longer deserves the right to govern.. (paraphrased but dead on)..

I do not choose to be governed as a US citizen.. I choose to have un-infringed right to the pursuit of liberty and happiness.. I am not happy if someone stares at me eating LOL What do you think I feel about the naughty email I just sent to a potential GF? Nekid when I should feel comfort that I have rights and freedoms.. Cannot be arrested unjustly.... If this girl is underage I am outta there quick but if they see my email what do I have to worry about then? I am not out chasing illegal aged girls. Not in anyway at all.. But if there is a crumb out there and someone has access to it.. you may be the next.. No amount of security weighs as much as Freedom and happiness..

I am not a nut job either.. I just am seeing SO MANY responses to Gov injustices that all are along the lines of well we'll see how this plays out.. The POINT IS YOU WON'T SEE IT COMING! LOL Sorry.. Don't budge an inch on what the founders promised us in their Battle to Create Our Governing Document.. They meant it just as you think they meant it. They had the same issues that are becoming all to frequent.. Exception is that they just cut off your head or shot you.. Our Gov will make it hurt for years..

I did end up spilling my NSA beans a little but it was in the newspaper in Big Letters with cost and requests for skilled labor etc.. No secret really..

Thanks to the Forum Hosts......
The courtesy of letting me post without joining the cult is appreciated although I am becoming more interested as I wade through the forum..

Freddy
Premium
join:2005-05-17
Arlington, VA
kudos:2

Re: NSA Builds Largest US DC in Utah- You won't see "whats next" coming! LOL

Take a look at this article:

»lauren.vortex.com/archive/001074.html

People say a lot about the virtues of freedom and the loss of any of it, but what freedoms has anyone lost? The old saying, "no harm, no foul" applies.

The only approach that anyone has had is to try to adjudicate the NSA program as illegal. So far, that approach has failed.

Trying to make a case based on the loss of freedom is not possible without actually showing such loss. No harm, no foul.

Read that article (long), but it's a good and likely outcome in this controversial NSA issue.

Freddy