In the past few years, there has been an ongoing conversation about important issues related to government requests for consumer information. As part of this conversation, Comcast is issuing its first transparency report today. This report is similar to those of other communications and technology companies that show the amount and types of government requests for consumer information. Moving forward, we will release a new transparency report every six months. We hope this periodic reporting will keep our customers and the public informed about the government requests that communications and technology companies receive.
The report lists the numbers of requests that we receive from federal, state, and local governments for law enforcement and national security purposes. By law, we are required to respond to valid government requests. Some of the law enforcement requests also involve emergency disclosures to prevent imminent risk of death or serious physical injury. Protecting our customers’ privacy is among our highest priorities and is required by the Cable Act, one of the strictest federal privacy laws. So with every request, whether it is from a local police department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we make sure it complies with applicable legal standards before we respond with any information.
Today’s report covers all government requests that Comcast received in 2013. However, due to federal reporting guidelines, our disclosure of the number of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders is subject to a six month reporting delay. Consequently, for FISA orders, we have provided the number of requests from January 1 through June 30, 2013 only.