Telstra takes 85k requests for user data in 12 months

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Telstra takes 85k requests for user data in 12 months

Releases first full-year transparency report.

Telstra received just under 85,000 requests for customer information from government agencies in its 2014 financial year, the telco revealed in its first full year transparency report released today.

Telstra had previously reported receiving 40,644 requests for information from law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies and emergency services organisations in the six months to December 2013.

Its full-year report, published today, reveals the requests for the period from January 2014 to the end of July remained relatively on par with the six months prior.

For the full year, Telstra was asked for access to customer data by government agencies on 84,949 occasions. Of this, Telstra received 2701 warrants for interception or access to stored communications, and 598 court orders.

Requests related to life threatening situations and triple zero calls came in at 6303, while the vast majority of requests - 75,448 - were related to customer information (such as name and address), carriage service records (internet, call and SMS records) and pre-warrant checks.

Telstra received less than 100 requests from international law enforcement agencies for customer information, the telco reported.

National security agencies are not included in the figures, Telstra said, as the TIA Act prohibits the reporting of such requests.

“We are required, like all telcos in Australia, to assist Australian national security and law enforcement agencies. This assistance is provided for specific reasons, such as enforcing criminal law, protecting public revenue and safeguarding national security,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“We also provide assistance to emergency services agencies in response to life threatening situations and Triple Zero emergency calls. We only disclose customer information in accordance with the law.”

Telstra has a customer base of around 16 million.

Fellow telco Vodafone published a global disclosure report in June revealing Australian agencies had made 685,757 requests for call data and intercepted 3389 calls.

Following Telstra's release of its six-monthly transparency report in March, Vodafone Australia said it was working with the Attorney-General's Department to provide more local transparency.

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