Protection of customer privacy is one of our core values at Sonic. We seek to provide as much transparency as possible regarding legal processes and customer privacy, so in furtherance of those efforts, we are releasing our fourth annual Transparency Report.
This year we saw zero civil subpoenas, as compared with one in 2013 compared with nine each in 2011 and 2012. Law enforcement subpoena activity increased again in 2014, but as in the past, Sonic’s membership is growing so it is challenging to make a direct comparison between the years.
This year we have added the broad bracket related to National Security Letter (NSL) items, where we are limited to a disclosure of a range, rather than a specific quantity. Sonic participated in filing an amicus brief recently on this topic, which can be found here.
We have also made a number of updates to improve our Sonic.net Legal Process Policy document. The update makes clearer our retention policies for various types of customer records, and provides additional customer notification information.
We have now begun tracking law enforcement orders which are subsequently withdrawn before customer information is provided. In 2014, three law enforcement orders which requested non-disclosure were withdrawn. One of these was re-issued under seal.
Finally, we are stating for the record our position regarding compelled inclusion of back doors, deliberate security weaknesses or disclosure of encryption keys. Sonic does not support these practices.
Internet and telephone service providers have a great responsibility both to protect their law-abiding customers and the public. We continually work to achieve both of these goals.