TODAY

TODAY   |  October 15, 2013

New documents show NSA gathers address books

A new document leaked to the Washington Post show that the NSA gathers address books and contact lists from e-mailers and instant messengers as they flow through computer connections. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>> there's a new report this morning that the nsa is collecting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail accounts around the world including americans . pete williams is in washington with the latest on this. what can you tell us?

>> reporter: good morning, this comes from documents in the washington post from nsa leaker edward snowden and they show that the nsa gathers address books and contact lists from e-mailers and instant mess en messengers. they're from foreigners and not americans . now the nsa says it uses the day to look for connections focussing on what it calls valid foreign intelligence targets like terrorists, human traffickers and drug smug letters and the agency says it's not interested in personal information about ordinary americans . still, the program does capture the address books of potentially millions of americans but the nsa says it follows rules to minimize gathering, using, or disseminating that data, natalie.