Small San Francisco mobile company first to release transparency report

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 12, 2014

Wired – Kim Zetter: “A small telecom believed to be at the center of a historic court battle over government surveillance published its first transparency report on Thursday, noting that it had received 16 government requests for customer data in 2013. But the report may be most significant for what it doesn’t say. Credo Mobile, the first telecom to release a transparency report, received just 15 requests for customer data pursuant to subpoena, summons or court order and one emergency request for data. But the most significant part of the report may be the government requests it doesn’t list. A press release accompanying the report notes that it may be incomplete because legal restrictions prevent companies like Credo from disclosing certain kinds of government requests for customer data, such as those requested with a so-called National Security Letter or NSL. “[D]ue to existing U.S. surveillance statutes that Credo is on the record opposing, such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act, this report and those of other service providers may fall short of full transparency,” the note reads. The report and statement are significant because Credo is believed to be the anonymous plaintiff at the heart of a historic legal battle over NSLs — a fight that began before documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the government’s sweeping surveillance programs. That legal battle resulted in a court ruling last year saying that NSLs, and the mandatory gag orders that accompany them, are unconstitutional.”

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