TODAY | June 07, 2013
>>> director of national intelligence weighed in on the government's secret surveillance program in order to quiet some of the uproar and there's been a lot of it.
>> these revelations are getting a lot of attention and we're learning now this goes well beyond just the verizon customers and phone data, also includes surveillance of the internet targeting foreign terrorists as well.
>> we want to get right to nbc's peter alexander at the white house with more on the story. peter, good morning to you.
>> reporter: matt, good morning to you. these were some of the most sensitive secrets in counter-terror data collection and one of the programs allowed analysts to actively monitor the internet in real time searching for potentially suspicious e-mails, photos, and documents. sources familiar with the programs confirm to nbc news the national security agency and the fbi are tapping directly into the computer servers of some of the biggest names in the internet. "the washington post " reports they include apple, google and facebook. the secret program's code names, prism and blarney. some of the companies responded insisting they don't provide any government agency with direct access to their servers. the obama administration defends the practice as a critical tool to protect the country, providing what a senior administration official called "among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect." sources say it's intended to cover communications that originate outside the u.s. or from the u.s. to a foreign country . administration officials say the program does not allow the targeting of any u.s. citizen or anyone within the uts. u.s.. the revelation follows news of another secret program where under the post-9/11 patriot act the government is compiling an enormous data base of phone records collecting details on every call made in america, not only foreign calls but no names and no listening in. glenn greenwald broke the story.
>> there is this massive surveillance that the united states government has built up that has extraordinary implication force how we live as human beings on the earth and as americans in our country.
>> reporter: outrage exploded across twitter. "i'll save you all some time. i'm not a terrorist" said one twitterer.
>> we know that, it's important.
>> reporter: overnight the director of national intelligence , james clapper , spoke out. he declassified some information about these programs. he defended them as being entirely legal, about the leak, about the internet program, he called it reprehensible and about the phone records program he indicated that the disclosure of that program "threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to many threats facing our nation."
>> peter alexander , thank you very