AT&T Update On Government Surveillance Position

               AT&T Update On Government Surveillance Position

Plans to publish semi-annual transparency report

PR Newswire

DALLAS, Dec. 20, 2013

DALLAS, Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today provided an
update on its position on the government surveillance discussion taking place
as well as steps the company plans to take to provide more transparency into
government requests for customer information.

The following statement should be attributed to Wayne Watts, AT&T Senior
Executive Vice President and General Counsel:

The debate about government surveillance programs and striking the right
balance between protecting personal privacy and providing national security is
a healthy one. It's important that policymakers worldwide get it right so that
people can continue to enjoy the benefits of technology and communications
with confidence.

When it comes to governmental surveillance and requests for customer
information, all companies are compelled to comply with the laws of the
country in which they operate. Those laws not only govern what companies must
do when they receive lawful government requests, but often limit what
companies can say publicly about the requests. But here is what we can say:

  oProtecting our customers' information and privacy is paramount. Everywhere
    we operate, we go to great lengths to make sure our customers' data is
    safe and secure. And we do so in compliance with the laws of the country
    where the service is provided.
  oWhen we receive a government request for customer information, whether
    it's a court order, a subpoena, or other method, we ensure that the
    request and our response are completely lawful and proper in that country.
  oWe work hard to make sure that the requests or orders are valid and that
    our response to them is lawful. We've challenged court orders, subpoenas
    and other requests from local, state and federal governmental entities –
    and will continue to do so, if we believe they are unlawful.
  oWe do not allow any government agency to connect directly to our network
    to gather, review or retrieve our customers' information.
  oWe only provide wireless customer location data in response to a court
    order except in the rare cases in which an emergency compels us to do so.
    Examples include when law enforcement enlists us to locate a missing child
    or a kidnapping suspect, and they provide us assurance that a real
    emergency affecting human life exists.

To further our efforts to be as transparent as possible within the government
guidelines in which we operate, like Verizon recently announced, we intend to
publish a semi-annual online report that will provide information on the
number of law enforcement requests for customer information that our company
receives in the countries in which we do business. AT&T expects to publish the
first report, covering information received in 2013, in early 2014.

To the extent permitted by laws and regulations, AT&T's transparency report
will include:

  oThe total number of law enforcement agency requests received from
    government authorities in criminal cases;
  oInformation on the number of subpoenas, court orders and warrants;
  oThe number of customers affected; and
  oDetails about the legal demands AT&T receives, as well as information
    about requests for information in emergencies.

Finally, in our view, any disclosures regarding classified information should
come from the government, which is in the best position to determine what can
be lawfully disclosed and would or would not harm national security.

We believe clear legal frameworks with accountability and oversight are
required to strike the right balance between protecting individual privacy and
civil liberties, and protecting the national and personal security, a balance
we all desire. We take our responsibility to protect our customers'
information and privacy very seriously and pledge to continue to do so to the
fullest extent possible.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the
most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T
operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States
and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes
the nation's fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading
provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based
services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless
coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that
work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T
U-verse^® brand. The company's suite of IP-based business communications
services is one of the most advanced in the world.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided
by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at
or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and YouTube at

© 2013 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo
and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual
Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein
are the property of their respective owners.

4G LTE speed claim based on national carriers' average 4G LTE download speeds.
Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE
networks. 4G LTE availability varies.


Contact: Brad Burns,, (214) 757-3253
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.