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Verizon's Internal Memo On The NSA Surveillance Snafu

A huge report revealed that Verizon had to hand over call logs to the NSA. Basically, the company says when dealing with the government its hands are tied.

Posted on June 6, 2013, at 11:47 a.m. ET

Brian Snyder / Reuters

The Guardian came out with a big report last night revealing that Verizon was forced by court order to hand over call logs and data for calls to the National Security Agency.

In an internal email to Verizon employees, Randy Milch, Verizon's Executive Vice President and General Counsel, basically didn't acknowledge the existence of the order, but said in such situations the company has to comply with the law.

So, essentially, their hands are tied.

Here's the full memo to Verizon employees from Milch, as reviewed by BuzzFeed:

"You may have seen stories in the news about a top secret order Verizon allegedly received to produce certain calling information to the U.S. government.

We have no comment on the accuracy of The Guardian newspaper story or the documents referenced, but a few items in these stories are important. The alleged court order that The Guardian published on its website contains language that:

*compels Verizon to respond;

*forbids Verizon from revealing the order's existence; and

*excludes from production the "content of any communication . . . or the name, address, or financial information of a subscriber or customer."

Verizon continually takes steps to safeguard its customers' privacy. Nevertheless, the law authorizes the federal courts to order a company to provide information in certain circumstances, and if Verizon were to receive such an order, we would be required to comply."

A Screenshot Of The Memo

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.