Transparency is a core value for CREDO

The need for technology and telecommunications companies to seriously address privacy and transparency is back in the headlines. In April, Microsoft went to court asking to be granted the right to inform customers when their email and private information is requested by the federal government.

Apple engaged in a public fight with the FBI over whether it should be forced to write new code allowing the agency to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone, compromising the security of its product.

While other telecommunications companies have only begun to address this issue recently, CREDO has been at the forefront of the fight for our customers’ privacy from the beginning.

In 2014, following Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s dragnet that collects information about the phone calls, emails and other communications of virtually all Americans, CREDO became the first mobile phone company to release a transparency report.

At the time the Washington Post wrote:

Ever since we learned that the country’s phone companies were handing vast amounts of data to the government under court order, pressure has been mounting for them to publish a Silicon Valley-type transparency report detailing how exactly they’re complying. Now the first such report is out. But instead of coming from industry mainstays such as Verizon or AT&T, the disclosure comes from a little-known, left-leaning service known as CREDO Mobile.

CREDO believes that we owe our customers access to this information. That is why, each quarter since, we have continued to publish this vital report. We recently released our first quarterly transparency report for 2016.

CREDO’s commitment to transparency goes even deeper. In 2014 and 2015, we received a 5-star rating from the Electronic Frontier Foundation for “protecting your data from government requests.” We also fight against laws that allow unconstitutional violations of our customers’ privacy. As we note in our quarterly report:

CREDO supports the repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. CREDO has endorsed Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Thomas Massie’s Surveillance State Repeal Act, which would accomplish this, and we are actively calling on members of Congress to co-sponsor this important act. CREDO opposed reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 before the USA Freedom Act was passed (a bill CREDO opposed). Until full repeal can be achieved, CREDO has worked specifically to reform the worst abuses of both acts. This includes fighting to roll back the National Security Letter (NSL) provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, and fighting to make FISA Court opinions public so that the American people know how the secret FISA court is interpreting the law. CREDO supported the Amash Amendment, aimed at halting the indiscriminate dragnet sweeping up the phone records of Americans, and the Massie-Poe-Lofgren amendment to defund warrantless NSA backdoor searches. CREDO opposed Sen. Patrick Leahy’s most recent Senate version of the USA Freedom Act, which passed in June, effectively reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act without fixing the worst constitutional abuses by the NSA.

In addition to our civil rights activism, we also are a committed funder of civil liberties groups, including American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. We donated $52,881 to Demand Progress during the period covered by this transparency report.

Nearly 70,000 CREDO activists have signed a petition opposing the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016 (CCOA), which was introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr. If passed into law, the CCOA would undermine Americans’ privacy, make encryption illegal and force companies to weaken the security of their products and services.

CREDO will continue to fight for the privacy of our customers as a core value, not only as part of our mobile business but in our political action as well.