CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support

FAQs For Third Party Requestors

Last Updated: February 1, 2013

Law Enforcement Support Home

Welcome to the LES FAQ Page designed for Third Party Requestors. As a third party, you may be an attorney or party in a lawsuit looking for information about someone else. You are not a Law Enforcement Agent, nor are you a CenturyLink customer seeking your own records.

Please select a FAQ below. You can also utilize your browser's Find function, or our webpage Search function located on the top right hand side of this page, to locate keywords throughout the document. The keyword or phrase found will be highlighted throughout the page content.

All subpoenas issued in civil cases must be served on CenturyLink's registered agent for service of process, CT Corporation. CT Corporation is authorized to accept subpoenas on behalf of any CenturyLink entity registered to do business by the secretaries of state. You may visit your Secretary of State website for more information. You may also contact CT Corporation at 1-800-624-0909 or visit their website at http://ct.wolterskluwer.com/ctcorporation.

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What kinds of records are available to a third party?
  • Bill Statements

    CenturyLink will only provide copies of a customer's bill statements to a third party with a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand specifically requesting this information. Applicable fees may apply.

  • Call Trace Results (*57)

    Once a call is traced using the *57 feature, contact local Law Enforcement. The trace results will only be released to a law enforcement agency with a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand. A successful trace will include the phone number captured and if that phone number is serviced by CenturyLink, the name and address of the subscriber will be released. If your Law Enforcement Agency has any questions regarding this process, please have them call the CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support team at 877-451-1980.

    For additional information about Call Trace, see our Customer FAQ "Who do I contact if I want to report threatening, abusive, or obscene calls?'

  • Internet Protocol (IP) Subscriber Information

    Internet Protocol information may include the name, address, associated phone number, user ID and time logs of the assigned CenturyLink customer. CenturyLink cannot process requests for IP subscriber information without being provided an exact date, time and time zone. Please note that NO information will be released without a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand specifically requesting this information. Applicable fees may apply.

  • Local Call Detail

    CenturyLink customers are charged for dial tone, not per call; therefore local call detail will not appear on their bill.

    Records of local calls are not maintained in the normal course of business. To attempt to retrieve local call detail, CenturyLink must perform an extensive search of raw switch data and then attempt to assemble the relevant data into a report that can be understood by the requesting party. There is no guarantee that any particular local call record will be obtained. Applicable fees may apply to any requesting party, including Law Enforcement agencies because this is data that is not maintained in the normal course of CenturyLink's business. NO information will be released without a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand specifically requesting this information.

  • Pay Phone Records

    CenturyLink is a rebiller of payphone services. We can provide the location of a payphone without a subpoena since that is public knowledge.

    CenturyLink can only provide call detail records on a payphone with a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand and only if it is on CenturyLink's network.

    To attempt to retrieve call detail, CenturyLink must perform an extensive search. There is no guarantee that any particular call record will be obtained. Applicable fees may apply to any requesting party, including Law Enforcement agencies.

  • Payment

    Payment information may include records of bank, credit card or electronic fund transfer payments. Please note that NO information will be released without a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand specifically requesting this information. Applicable fees may apply.

  • Subscriber

    Subscriber, or customer, information may include customer name, physical address and billing address. Please note that NO information will be released without a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand specifically requesting this information. Applicable fees may apply.

  • Toll / Long Distance Call Detail

    An itemized list of outgoing toll/long distance calls, incoming collect calls, calling cards or third party billed calls may be available on a billing statement. If a customer has an unlimited long distance plan, an itemized list may not appear on the billing statement. Prior to billing, CenturyLink may not be able to provide all information that will ultimately appear on the customer's billing statement. NO information will be released without a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand specifically requesting this information. Applicable fees may apply.

  • Voice Messaging

    Access to a CenturyLink customer's voice mail messages requires a search warrant or court order. CenturyLink cannot retrieve voice-mail messages once the customer deletes the message, or once the customer's service has been disconnected.

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What time frames are various records available to a third party?

Generally, CenturyLink's data retention guidelines are as follows, although these guidelines are subject to multiple conditions:

  • Billing Systems data – 6 years plus current year.
  • Call Detail records – 1 year minimum.
  • Internet IP Address information – Rolling 12 months.
  • Long Distance billing records – 6 years plus current year.
  • Voice Messages – Current messages are available based on certain dependencies e.g. if account has not been disconnected, or the message has not been deleted.
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What are the fees, if any, for Law Enforcement Support assistance?

CenturyLink charges fees for the collection of data simply to cover the cost of complying with court orders, subpoenas or other legal demands. Most of the fees charged do not compensate CenturyLink for the total cost of compliance. The fee schedule can be found here.

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What are the Law Enforcement Support team's hours of operation?

CenturyLink's Law Enforcement Support team's hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Central time, excluding holidays.

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There are a number of legal processes that require CenturyLink to respond with information concerning customer accounts and activity. The most common types include:

  • Civil Subpoena

    A Civil Subpoena is a discovery request for information used in civil proceedings between private parties. Civil subpoenas may be issued by the attorneys representing the parties in the case. Although there is no legal obligation, it is CenturyLink's general practice to provide notice to its customers of any civil subpoena requesting the customer's information in order to provide the customer with an opportunity to file an objection in the court where the civil case is filed.

  • Criminal Subpoena/Search Warrant

    A Criminal Subpoena, or Search Warrant, is a discovery request for information in criminal investigations or formal proceedings. Most criminal subpoenas/search warrants are signed off on by a judge after a review of the law enforcement agency's application. A court case does not have to be filed prior to the issuance of an investigative subpoena or search warrant. Often, an investigatory subpoena will contain an order that the customer cannot be notified of the request for information.

  • Court Order

    A Court Order is an order issued by a judge presiding over a civil or criminal case demanding information be released to the court. Court orders are required for the release of the “content” (i.e., information contained in emails or web site visits, wiretaps, etc.) of a customer's communication.

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Who can I contact about identity theft or fraud related to a CenturyLink service?

The CenturyLink Fraud Management Operations Center is committed to eliminating revenue losses due to fraud through investigation, education, and policy enforcement, acting ethically and with integrity. The fraud team aggressively researches solutions to emerging fraud trends by determining the root cause and implementing preventative measures affecting process and/or policy changes.

If you wish to report fraud related to a CenturyLink service or to report a fraudulent incident, please contact the Business Office number found on a CenturyLink bill, in the local telephone directory, or find contact phone numbers on CenturyLink.com.

You can also email the fraud organization at CenturyLink.fraud@CenturyLink.com.

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No, CenturyLink can neither provide more information about a subpoena itself nor provide legal advice to you regarding any objections or questions you may have. Please consult with an attorney for legal assistance.

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How can I find out about the status of a subpoena?

To determine the status of a subpoena, please call 877-451-1980 and follow the menu options. Please be prepared to include your name, a call back number, and a CenturyLink case number if available. We will return your call within 1 business day.

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A copyright owner may serve a subpoena on a service provider, like CenturyLink, requesting the identity of a customer alleged to be infringing on the owner's copyright by, for example, illegally downloading a movie to the customer's computer. The subpoena is issued by the clerk of any United States District Court upon a request by the copyright owner, or one authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.

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What is the Digital Millennium Copyright act or DMCA?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is also known as the DMCA, was enacted by Congress in 1998 to help service providers (like CenturyLink) and copyright owners deal with some of the legal challenges created by digital media on the Internet. Among other things, the DMCA established guidelines and processes for copyright owners to send notices of alleged copyright violations to service providers. The notice identifies a particular copyright offense that is alleged to have occurred, the date and time of the activity, and the internet protocol (IP) address of the network or system on which the activity occurred. You can find the U.S. Copyright Office's summary of the DMCA at http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf.

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A DMCA notice is provided for informational purposes only when CTL is advised under the DMCA customers may have violated established guidelines. Under a DMCA notice none of your personal information will be released to a third party.

When you receive a notification of a subpoena from CTL, it means that your subscriber information has been requested in a civil lawsuit and that CTL is required to release that information if you do not file an objection with the court.

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Does CenturyLink track internet content?

CenturyLink uses information generated on our networks to manage, plan, and develop networks, and to ensure reliability and efficiency of those networks. For example, we monitor data to check for viruses, control spam, prevent attacks that might disable our services, ensure traffic does not violate our subscriber agreements or our acceptable use policies, and guard against other inappropriate or illegal activity. This may involve looking at the characteristics of our network traffic, such as traffic volumes, beginning and ending points of transmissions, and the types of applications being used to send traffic across our network.

In limited circumstances, we need to look into the content of the data (such as the specific websites being visited, files being transmitted, or applications being used) for the purposes described above. We may also look into the content of the data when CenturyLink is concerned about fraud or harassment, to repair a detected problem, or when we are providing the content of broadband traffic to Law Enforcement when required and authorized by law.

Most of the specific information we obtain that is attributable to a user is kept only for a matter of hours or days. We may retain data for longer if, for example, we see patterns in the traffic that give us concerns about potential harm to our network, or if we are doing a specific study on the impact of certain applications used on our networks. We also may retain logs of the total amount of data transmitted, and the date, time, and duration of access to the Internet through our services by a user, including the user's IP address at the time.

For more information, visit CenturyLink's Privacy Policy.

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What is the difference between a Dynamic and a Static IP Address?

Dynamic IP Addresses change every time a user connects to the CenturyLink network. The majority of CenturyLink customers have Dynamic IP addresses. IP addresses are not specific to a certain city or state. The customer may be issued any IP address that is assigned to the switch's service area. The switch may cover multiple cities and states.

Static IP Addresses remain the same and are typically used by Large Businesses or Government Entities.

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If I know the IP Address, how do I find the Internet Service Provider?

You can access the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) website to identify the Internet Service Provider of an IP address. Use the "Search WHOISRWS function located on the top of ARIN's home page.

ARIN is not maintained by CenturyLink. CenturyLink cannot ensure the accuracy of the results provided by ARIN.

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How do I find the Service Provider for a telephone number?

Telcodata is a website that will locate the name of the Telecommunication Service Provider when provided with an area code and prefix. This site will also break down the area code and prefix on "pooled numbers" which are numbers split between several different service providers. For example, 720-287 is pooled between 4 different service providers. Telcodata will show which Service Provider handles each pooled set of numbers.

Telcodata is not maintained by CenturyLink. CenturyLink cannot ensure the accuracy of the results provided by Telcodata.

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Who do I call if I received a call from a missing person?

Always contact your local Law Enforcement Agency and they will contact CenturyLink for assistance.

In addition to contacting Law Enforcement, you may consider CenturyLink's Call Trace feature. Click here for more information about Call Trace.

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Can a customer block callers?

Call blocking is a feature that may be placed on a customer's telephone number. The CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support team is not able to add features. Call blocking is not available in all areas. For assistance with the call blocking feature, or any other feature, customers must speak to a CenturyLink customer service representative for more information. Contact phone numbers can be found on CenturyLink.com.

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How can I contact the Law Enforcement Support team if I still have questions?

If you have a question, please call 877-451-1980, and listen to the options presented. You will have to leave a message with your name, contact number, and reason for calling. Also include as much detailed information as possible, such as a CenturyLink case number or telephone number of interest, so we may quickly address your concerns. CenturyLink's Law Enforcement Support team will return your call within 1 business day.

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