Nightly News   |  October 31, 2013

Big tech companies fight for new privacy laws

Six major technology companies, including Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Apple, are calling for new privacy laws to stop U.S. intelligence agencies from breaking into their data centers overseas. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> now to this widening and global nsa spying story, all of it coming by leaks by the former u.s. defense contractor edward snowden . tonight's revelations involve very big names in the internet and e-mail world. now big companies are calling for privacy laws to stop u.s. intelligence agencies from breaking into their data overseas. for more on all of it we turn to andrea mitchell in our d.c. news room tonight. good evening.

>> the tech companies worry they are losing an arm's race with the nsa which nbc news confirms has been hacking into google and yahoo data centers around the world as fast as the company has put up fire walls . googleal and yahoo data centers in all corners of the globe reach targets by data collection by the nsa. as first reported in the " washington post " they found more documents leaked by edward snowden , hundreds of thousands of e-mail is collected, decoded and filtered with possible intelligence targets transmitted to the nsa.

>> you have thousands and thousands of mile of cable out there. so presumably the nsa has found share to gain access.

>> the programs describe it as if a cartoon like drawing was designed to track foreigners but the data of americans working or living overseas can get swept up, as well. top intelligence officials rushed to brief the senate intelligence committee .

>> when you look to gather foreign intelligence which is so important to our country there is a challenge about sweeping in americans in the process.

>> here is the loop hole. because it is happening outside the u.s. american laws requiring a court order before the spies can read the e-mails or listen to the calls don't apply. google issued a statement saying we are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data. snowden met with a lawmaker from germany is considering testifying in germany if given asylum.

>> i think he hopes we will go back to a september 10 kind of world in terms of privacy and in terms of surveillance.

>> a new job in moscow and a spy agency told the senate that some of the reports have been mischaracterized. the senate wants that in writing.

>> andrea mitchell in washington.