Snowden alleged that major internet and communications companies, like Verizon, Google and Facebook, have been ordered by the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to hand over information about their customers through the NSA’s metadata surveillance and the PRISM program.
In a legal request that surfaced from Google to the FISC, Google pleaded the government to allow them to release classified information about the court order that compelled them to surrender information and exactly what information was handed over. The document says:
The Guardian newspaper published a story characterizing the scope and nature of Google’s receipt of and compliance with foreign intelligence surveillance requests. In particular, the story falsely alleged that Google provides the U.S. government with direct access to its systems, allowing the government unfettered access…Google’s reputation and business has been harmed by the false or misleading reports in the media, and Google’s users are concerned by the allegations. Google must respond to such claims with more than generalities.
The letter, which you can read below in its entirety, is signed by Albert Gidari, a Seattle, Washington lawyer who often works for Google. The document is not dated, but judging by the other dates mentioned within the text, it is clear it was created within the last week.