Verizon data queries nearly 150,000 in 2014 | Bangkok Post: tech

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Verizon data queries nearly 150,000 in 2014

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WASHINGTON - US telecom giant Verizon said Tuesday it received nearly 150,000 requests for customer data from US law enforcement agencies in the first half of 2014. 

The Verizon Building in Manhattan is seen from the Brooklyn Bridge on June 6, 2013 in New York City

The total including subpoenas, warrants and other orders was 148,903, roughly in line with the full-year total from 2013 of 321,545, Verizon said in its "transparency report."

Verizon has joined other tech and Internet firms in releasing these figures in light of the outcry over government snooping following the revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

But in terms of national security demands, Verizon was permitted to reveal only a range of requests -- between zero and 999, affecting between 2,000 and 2,999 customers in the first six months of the year.

And in terms of the number of orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Verizon said it is required to report with a six-month delay. It said that in the second half of 2013 it received between zero and 999 orders affecting between 3,000 and 3,999 "customer selectors," which in most cases refer to telephone numbers.

In its report, Verizon said it rejects about three percent of the law enforcement requests it receives.

"Verizon has teams that carefully review each demand we receive," the company said. "We do not produce information in response to all demands we receive."

The company said it rejects requests if the proper legal process is not followed or if the request is "overly broad."

More than 72,000 of the requests were subpoenas from law enforcement agencies while some 37,000 were court orders.

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