CREDO Transparency Report - Q4 2016

CREDO Transparency Report - Q4 2016

CREDO has a long history of defending civil liberties and fighting against abuses of power that threaten Americans' constitutional rights to privacy. We are working for full repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act. Until such time as full repeal can be achieved, as well as afterward, we strongly believe there should be as much transparency as possible regarding government surveillance, and that our customers have the right to know when governmental entities request access to their information or communications. Accordingly, we are today publishing a quarterly transparency report detailing the number of of October, November, and December 2016 governmental requests to CREDO for customer information1 and the content of customer communications that are not subject to a legal order not to disclose.

It is our policy to notify our customers, whenever allowed by law, of the existence of a governmental request for their information. It is important to note that it may not be possible for CREDO or any telecom carrier to release to the public a full transparency report, as the USA PATRIOT Act and other statutes give law enforcement the ability to prevent companies from disclosing whether or not they have received certain orders, such as National Security Letters (NSLs) and Section 215 orders seeking customer information. CREDO publicly advocates for the repeal of such statutes that fail to adequately protect the due process rights of its subscribers.

Number of Requests to CREDO

Number of governmental requests for customer information pursuant to subpoena, summons, court order, or other non-emergency process:   2

Number of emergency governmental requests for customer information:2:   1

Number of governmental requests for which some or all information requested was produced:   1 (33%)

Number of governmental requests for which customer communication content information requested (including wiretap requests) was produced:   0

Number of customer accounts for which customer information was produced:   1

Number of governmental requests to remove user content or accounts:   0

Note: Our report does not include information requests that include an authorization signed by the customer (e.g., to trace a lost or stolen phone) or civil requests.


CREDO provides US-based telecom services.

Type of Request Requesting Agency Was some or all of requested customer information provided? Customer State

Administrative Subpoena




Emergency Request

County 911 Dispatch



Information Request

City Police Department



Newly Reportable Requests from Past Report Periods

Number of National Security Letters received between July 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016:   0-9993

Number of customer selectors targeted by National Security Letters received between July 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016:   0-9993

Requests from March 2013 that were subject to gags prohibiting disclosure of their existence (CREDO challenged these requests and their gags in court and won the right to disclose the existence of these requests):

Type of Request Requesting Agency Was some or all of requested customer information provided? Customer State

National Security Letter




National Security Letter




CREDO Advocacy and Funding

CREDO supports the repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. In 2015, CREDO endorsed Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Thomas Massie's Surveillance State Repeal Act that would accomplish this, and we actively called on members of Congress to co-sponsor this important legislation. CREDO opposed reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act's Section 215 before the USA Freedom Act was passed (a bill CREDO opposed). Until full repeal can be achieved, CREDO has worked specifically to reform the worst abuses of both acts. This includes fighting to roll back the National Security Letter (NSL) provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, and fighting to make FISA Court opinions public so that the American people know how the secret FISA court is interpreting the law. CREDO supported the Amash Amendment aimed at halting the indiscriminate dragnet sweeping up the phone records of Americans, and the Massie-Poe-Lofgren amendment to defund warrantless NSA backdoor searches. CREDO opposed Sen. Patrick Leahy's most recent Senate version of the USA Freedom Act which passed in 2015, effectively reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act without fixing the worst constitutional abuses by the NSA.

In the waning days of the Obama administration CREDO has mounted heavy pressure on Pres. Obama to mitigate some of the damage he has done to our civil liberties through a series of advocacy campaigns. In a campaign urging Pres. Obama to take steps to dismantle the surveillance state before leaving office, we called on him to publicly disclose all mass surveillance programs, delete the data stored on Americans, and demolish the physical infrastructure used to collect this data. We also partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Amnesty International to demand that Pres. Obama pardon Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower whose brave actions exposed the global mass-surveillance system and set in motion the most important debate about government surveillance and civil liberties in decades. To date Pres. Obama has not heeded our calls.

In addition to our civil liberties activism, we also are a committed funder of civil liberties groups, with more than $2.2 million in donations to American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Transparency Report Release Date: January 17, 2017


CREDO Transparency - Past Reports


Law Enforcement Guidelines

1 Customer information refers to non-content information such a customer's name, address, bill information, or handset or account information. Regarding the content of customer communications, CREDO does not receive or store the content of customer communications sent using our services except customer communications directed to us for customer service purposes. This report includes only CREDO's requests and does not include requests that may have been directed to another carrier. Requests received at the end of a quarter are counted in the quarter in which CREDO responds to those requests.

2 CREDO evaluates emergency requests to ensure they satisfy the requirements of 18 USC § 2702(c)(4) and/or (b)(8).

3 CREDO publishes this information for its previous Transparency Report pursuant to Section 603 of the USA FREEDOM Act. This information will be updated on CREDO's July and January Transparency Reports, for the preceding six month period. CREDO believes that the gag on companies regarding National Security Letters is unconstitutional. What companies are allowed by current law to disclose in this report—NSLs received over a 6 month period in a range of 0-499 or 0-999—is not meaningful disclosure; it's a joke. CREDO has challenged the constitutionality of NSL gags in court and will continue to fight on this issue at every opportunity.


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