Has anyone ever successfully obtained text message CONTENT from Verizon Wireless? Not just the sent/received information and the phone numbers to and from? I have been told by Verizon's legal department that they only keep the content of the message for ten days and they need a court order to release them. Is this factual and is it actually ten days, or is it longer?
Intellectual Property Law Attorney
I issued a subpoena to Verizon on behalf of a client last year pursuant to court order of a Federal Judge---and Verizon gave me the same story (although I believe they said they only keep contents of text messages for 30 days). In that case, we were able to retrieve most of the erased text messages from the memory in the smart-phone devices and, therefore, the issue became moot. A recent report of the ACLU stated that Verizon keeps text message content for only 3-5 days, and most of the other companies (other than sprint) do not keep any substantive content of text messages. Meta data concerning text messages (i.e., phone numbers, time text made, length of text etc) is generally kept by these companies for at least a year, and usually longer.