Time Warner Cable Releases First Transparency Report

The ISP is joining many other Internet giants and reveals how many requests it gets

Time Warner Cable has released its first transparency report, following in the footsteps of many other tech companies.

One of the biggest Internet service providers in the United States indicates in its report just how many requests it received from law enforcement regarding subscriber data and messaging information.

In the first half of 2013, Time Warner Cable received between 6,000 and 7,000 requests from government entities, excluding National Security Letters and FISA orders. In the second part of the year, the number dropped below 6,000. The same can be said about the number of users affected by these requests, from over 8,000 people before summer and just under 8,000 for the second part of the year.

82 percent of all requests were delivered in the form of subpoenas, while court orders accounted for 12 percent of the entire number, search warrants for 4 percent, and emergency requests for two percent. 0.1 percent of requests came from Pen Register and Trap and Trace orders, while Wiretap orders accounted for 0.02 percent of all requests.

Out of the entire number of requests received from governmental entities, 77 percent sought out subscriber information and transactional data. 20 percent of all requests didn’t involve the disclose of any data, while only three percent involved specific content.

TWC's Transparency Report
TWC's Transparency Report
When it comes to National Security Orders received by the company, Time Warner Cable admitted to not being allowed to reveal exact numbers, but thanks to a new set of declassification rules, they are allowed to reveal the aggregate number of National Security Letters and FISA order by using a broad range.

That being said, Time Warner Cable received, in the first half of 2013, between 0 and 249 such requests, affecting just as many users. For data regarding the second part of the year, we’ll have to wait until the summer because the US government imposed a six-month delay on the data inclusion in transparency reports.

What stands out when it comes to the reports from Time Warner Cable regarding the national security orders that the company received is that the “broad range” used isn’t as broad as with other companies.

While, normally, tech companies have resumed their data reporting to bands of 1,000, Time Warner Cable has chosen to stop its counting at 249, and not 999 like many other companies.

It’s unclear if they were all allowed to do so, or if TWC will get into trouble for this.


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