Nightly News   |  June 06, 2013

Government program monitors email, Internet traffic

A separate government program, different than the one monitoring phone records, is examining suspicious email and Internet traffic. According to the Washington Post, it allows the NSA and FBI to tap directly into computer servers at some of the largest Internet service providers. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>>> and now what we are learning about how the u.s. is tapping into intermet companies and emails. pete williams joins us now with this developing story. what are we learning?

>> sources familiar with this separate government program, one that monitors the internet for suspicious e-mail and other traffic, confirms its existence, first reported this afternoon by the washington post and guardian newspapers. the papers say that it allows the nsa and fbi to tap directly into the computer -- servers of some of the largest internet providers . they can watch for potentially suspicious messaging or postings. it's the equivalent of watching for specific envelopes that go by in the post office . now, this is different, they say, from the phone program, which andrea was talking about, which stores records of past calls and allows the government to go back to that data later when there's a specific number to check. this involves the ability to watch for suspicious activity as it's happening. the sources say this is mainly oriented toward communications outside the u.s. or that involve communications from the u.s. to a foreign country .

>> the other developing story we're