“The U.S. House of Representatives voted to curb some National Security Agency powers in legislation that Internet companies and privacy advocates said won’t do enough to prevent spying on innocent Americans,” Chris Strohm and Derek Wallbank report for Bloomberg.

“The bill, approved 303-121 today, would end one of the most controversial domestic spy programs under which the NSA collects and stores as much as five years of phone records on Americans,” Strohm and Wallbank report. “The bill arrives almost one year after the spying was exposed in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.”

“A group of technology companies, including Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and Apple Inc., opposed the bill because of what it called an ‘unacceptable loophole that could enable the bulk collection of Internet users’ data,'” Strohm and Wallbank report. “The bill is H.R. 3361 and would still need to be approved by the Senate before being sent to President Barack Obama. The White House yesterday said the president supports the measure because its “’significant reforms would provide the public greater confidence in our programs and the checks and balances in the system.'”

“The NSA has been collecting records including numbers dialed and call durations without the content of conversations. If today’s bill becomes law, the records would be held by Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and other phone carriers. The government would have to get an order from the secret court that oversees NSA spying in order to compel the carriers to search the records for counterterrorism investigations. The bill also includes provisions for emergency circumstances,” Strohm and Wallbank report. “The measure largely codifies a Jan. 26 agreement that Facebook, Apple and other companies reached with the Department of Justice to disclose details about how often they turn over data about their users in response to government national security requests.

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U.S. House passes bill to curb NSA’s data collection programs; Apple opposes over ‘unacceptable loophole’ – May 22, 2014