T-Mobile transparency report shows that it got more government requests than other carriers


T-Mobile recently posted its first transparency report, and while Magenta is either the third or fourth largest US carrier depending on who you ask, it actually received the most government requests in 2014.

During 2014, T-Mobile got a total of 351,940 government requests for info on T-Mo and its customers. That includes 177,549 subpoenas, 97,440 emergency/911 calls, 34,913 court orders, 3,087 wiretap orders, 849 customer requests for their own info, and a total of 8 requests from foreign governments. To compare, Sprint got 308,937 requests, Verizon got 287,559, and AT&T got 263,755.

T-Mobile also disclosed the amount of government requests that it got in 2013. The total number of requests finished at 317,000, and that number includes 153,177 subpoenas, 2,308 wiretaps, 1,724 customer requests for their own info, and 5 requests from foreign governments.

There’s been a lot of focus on privacy, spying, government info requests, and more in recent years, and it’s good to see T-Mobile finally come forward with a transparency report of its own. To be sure, not everyone is going to really care about this report, but it’s an interesting document for anyone that cares about government surveillance and the like.

You can read the full report, which includes information on the various requests and the steps that the government must follow for them to be legal, right here (warning: PDF).

Source: T-Mobile (PDF)

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  • Ascertion

    It’s very interesting that T-Mobile and Sprint get so many more requests from the government, despite having significantly less customers. I’m actually curious what the other carriers numbers are.

    • Y dont u


    • SirStephenH

      People with ill intentions require cheap, untraceable phones which means prepaid and T-Mobile and Sprint are the leaders in prepaid so it’s not all that surprising.

  • Sushimane

    The only question I gotta ask is. Is this a good thing or a bad thing

    • Ascertion

      It probably means T-Mobile/Sprint sell off their data at a cheaper rate.

      • Sushimane

        Which is a good thing right.

      • Stefan Naumowicz

        No… These numbers refer to government requests placed on carriers, has nothing to do with whether or not carriers sell customer data

    • J.J.

      double edged sword.. gov spying= mentally uncomfortable to citizens…gov does nothing= more crimes go unpunished. where the balance is no one knows

  • Trevnerdio

    It’s that pesky unlimited data, I tell you!

    • SirStephenH

      Nope, cheap prepaid burner phones.

      • Trevnerdio

        I tease, I tease lol

  • MoGruber

    I’d guess it’s because of T-Mobile and sprint having lower rates and more prepaid accounts, which are ideal for people with shady intentions.

    • Hollywood J Blaq

      You hit it right on the head. Str8 Talk, Metro, Simple Mobile, Walmart Family Mobile, TracFone, Net 10, amongst others use T-mobile, and of course Sprint has Virgin and Boost. I stayed in business in some less than good places because I sold those carriers.

  • archerian

    It would be interesting to see if T-mobile would provide breakdown between T-mobile and MetroPCS, a disproportionate number of requests came for MetroPCS when they were a separate carrier a few years ago.

  • Luis Espinal

    I can only imagine how many millions of burner phones are attributed to TMo and Sprint subscriber count…!

  • fw

    tmo > sprint due to gsm, can switch to foreign sim if necessary

  • kgraham182

    Well T-Mobile and its #1 subsidy GhettoPCS, is the official cellular service for drug dealers and murderers. Sprint/Boost is a close 2nd.

  • Adam

    Just like other employers, criminal organizations train their employees in security, but they always get someone who ignores that training and leaks about the crime on Facebook. Mostly law abiding citizens and small time crooks get spied on by the
    government. Much of organized crime uses high grade security that the
    government cannot crack.

    • J.J.

      true but as the past has shown organized crime falls when i small time crook get caught and exposes

  • J.J.

    no surprise. a criminal who switches phones often will always choose a lower cost phone to “work” from.


    So the assumption is that criminals are rampant on T-Mobile. Not that Big Brother is overstepping his authority.

  • Did they release the info for all these requests? That’s the real question