Today Comcast released its second Transparency Report, providing information regarding the volume and categories of government requests for customer information. Similar to our first Report and those issued by a number of other communications and technology companies, this information is designed to enhance the transparency of government surveillance programs as part of the ongoing conversation over how best to ensure that such programs appropriately reflect and balance the privacy interests of individuals.
With one exception, the data provided in this Report cover criminal and national security-related requests for information for the first six months of 2014. Requests for information made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) are subject to a six-month delay, and the data listed in that category therefore covers July to December 2013. The format and scope of the national security request data is based upon guidance provided from the Department of Justice and the numbers are therefore reported in bands of 1,000.
While we are legally obligated to respond to these government data requests, Comcast is committed to safeguarding our customers’ personal information and has decades of experience in complying with the strict privacy regime enacted by Congress, applicable to cable operators. To that end, we carefully review every law enforcement and national security-related request for customer data, and do not release any such information unless we conclude that doing so accords with applicable law.
We share the view that the public interest is best served by enhancing the transparency of government surveillance programs, and communicating their purposes and objectives clearly to the public. We also will continue to ensure that our responses to government requests for information meet our legal obligations and fully protect our customers’ privacy rights.