U.S. House passes bill to curb NSA data collection programs

“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.

Read more in the full article here.

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

22 Comments

  1. I guess we are supposed to be happy Congress finally passed anything. They took out the part involving any civilian oversight, and included gaping loopholes so the NSA can keep doing mass data collection. Because Congress has proven itself so useless and unwilling or unable to do anything relevant this decade, we are supposed to congratulate them for doing anything at all. Screw it – this bill stinks, and the Congress that halfway passed it still sucks at doing anything relevant. I’ll save my congratulations for when the NSA’s powers are actually successfully limited.

    1. Congress didn’t pass it; the House did. It still has to pass the Senate.

      Other than that, you are correct. It is a weak “act like we’re doing something” bill.

  2. … Anything to distract We The People from noticing that unwarranted surveillance of US citizens on US soil is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. 303 impeachable offenses. #MyStupidGovernment at work.

    Everyone loves a clown car! *beep*beep*

      1. You’re right, botty. How dare we hope for a better future. And how stupid we were to think one man, Obama, could change our corrupt system. Why, we should go right back to Bush/Cheney policies of endless wars and tax cuts for the rich. That will teach us stupid Americans!

          1. Don’t get the tea-party racism? Yes, you’re right about that. The white-bigotry indoctrination process failed to take hold on me. How sad that must make you.

            1. Tea Party members are racists?

              News flash: They are everyday Mom and Pops and most never stepped into a Starbucks.

              You watched Clockwork Orange one too many times …

      2. The unlawful surveillance activities and erosion of the rights of U.S. citizens began with the so-called Patriot Act – an action pushed and approved by a Republican administration and a predominantly Republican Congress. I frequently and publicly stated my opposition to that legislation starting before it was passed. You and many of your ilk applauded it. Karma is a bitch – don’t blame your crap on the Dems or Obama.

        1. You never read me espouse support for the Patriot Act or any of Dubya’s foreign or domestic policies. You cannot not name one difference between the agendas of Obama and Dubya, they are obliged to the same master. The only genuine “hope and change” I’ve seen in the last ten years has been Edward Snowden and Ron Paul.

        2. Fsck you Melvin, here’s your “hope and change” at work:

          WASHINGTON — Minutes before a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

          “It’s an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat,” Obama said Friday after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

          Congress bumped up against the deadline mainly because of the stubborn resistance from a single senator, Republican freshman Rand Paul of Kentucky, who saw the terrorist-hunting powers as an abuse of privacy rights. Paul held up the final vote for several days while he demanded a chance to change the bill to diminish the government’s ability to monitor individual actions.

        3. Well, your lack of facts and political bias is on display again.

          Think independently for starters.

          Dead wrong about blaming Bush for the birth of government surveillance you either have a problem with or do not. I can’t tell.

          Using a pop cultural reference, check out the first U.S. Hitchcock movie “Saboteur.” Although fiction, it did point out the government agency tracking of Nazi operatives in the U.S. during the WWII years.

          Bottom line: Whatever you want to call it has been going on for decades under ALL presidents.

          To contest and say differently, reveals a light bulb out in your attic.

  3. I read the article yesterday and I read it today. I know it’s written by a journanalyst and contains quotes of politicians but it’s such a minimalist level of logic.

    This one really amuses me though: “Leahy said the House vote “continues the bipartisan effort to restore Americans’ civil liberties,” ”

    Uh huh, and just who removed this liberties and why aren’t they in a court of law for removing these liberties? Seems like there was a really good constitution that was around, before it was decided t become a tool of relief from constipation.

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