The Guardian in the U.K. published a copy of an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that requires phone company Verizon to hand over daily records of all calls within the U.S. as well as calls from the U.S. to other countries. Verizon has since released a statement on the matter. They don’t admit to the order, but they don’t deny it either.
Here’s what Verizon Executive Vice President Randy Milch published on Verizon’s Policy Blog:
You may have seen stories in the news about a top secret order Verizon allegedly received to produce certain calling information to the U.S. government.
We have no comment on the accuracy of The Guardian newspaper story of the documents referenced, but a few items in these stories are important. The alleged court order that The Guardian published on its website contains language that:
- compels Verizon to respond;
- forbids Verizon from revealing the order’s existence; and
- excludes from production the “content of any communication . . . or the name, address, or financial information of a subscriber or customer.”
Verizon continually takes steps to safeguard its customers’ privacy. Nevertheless, the law authorizes the federal courts to order a company to provide information in certain circumstances, and if Verizon were to receive such an order, we would be required to comply.
So they’re not admitting they received an order to turn over records to the government, but they point out that if they did receive such an order, they’d totally comply with it, and not tell anyone about it.
If the order is true, and they’re not saying it is, then this is likely the most we’re going to hear out of Verizon on the matter.
- The NSA is getting daily records from Verizon
- Thousands of surveillance orders against citizens stay secret for too long
- The U.K. wants to track online messaging