AT&T reveals government requested data more than 300,000 times in 2013

BY Ellen Rolfes  February 19, 2014 at 9:59 AM EDT
Photo by Flickr user Mike Mozart

Photo by Flickr user Mike Mozart

In the company’s first-ever published transparency report, AT&T released information Wednesday about government and law enforcement requests for customer information. The report documents more than 300,000 requests for user data in 2013.

By releasing the report, which AT&T says it intends to make a semi-annual habit, the company hopes to provide its customers with more information about their private data is shared between their communications providers and government authorities.

“We take our responsibility to protect your information and privacy very seriously,” AT&T stated, “and we pledge to continue to do so to the fullest extent possible and always in compliance with the law of the country where the relevant service is provided.”

Nearly 75 percent of the requests were connected to criminal subpeonas. Other requests were tied to national security demands.

Of the limited data that the communications giant could legally reveal, AT&T said that it received 2,000 to 2,999 national security letters in 2013 and as many as 999 court orders in the first half the year; issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the court which seeks to protect Americans from being monitored by their own government.

Verizon published a similar transparency report in January, and stated that it had received more than 320,000 federal, state and local requests for customer data.