House rejects bid to curb U.S. spy agency's data-gathering program

WASHINGTON Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:04pm EDT

An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland. REUTERS/NSA/Handout via Reuters

An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Credit: Reuters/NSA/Handout via Reuters

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. spy program that sweeps up vast amounts of electronic communications survived a legislative challenge in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the first move to curb the surveillance effort since a worker leaked details of its scope.

The House of Representatives voted 217-205 to defeat an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would have limited the National Security Agency's ability to collect electronic information, including phone call records.

The measure, which has been opposed by the White House and intelligence chiefs, was the first attempt to curb NSA spying since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked details about the extent of the agency's data collecting.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Comments (27)
davidfarrar wrote:
It’s not the data collection that has disturbed the public…if we need it, we need it… it is the secrecy even from the Congressional committees that needed to know first. Let’s be blunt, the only people who didn’t know this was going on were the American People; that’s who it was kept secrete from.

ex animo
davidfarrar
davidfarrar

Jul 24, 2013 3:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ernie0100 wrote:
They are breaking the law, end of story.

Jul 24, 2013 4:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
usagadfly wrote:
It is absurd to think that the notion of being secure in your person and your dwelling from arbitrary search without cause does not apply to electronic communications simply because George Washington and Thomas Jefferson did not have smartphones with a data plan. The world changes.

There are those who argue that not abridging the right to keep and bear arms should be limited to flintlock smooth bore muskets. But it is an absurd, laughable assertion. Liberty from unreasonable, and unreasoning, State intrusion into our lives is supposedly what millions of Americans have died for. Of course dictatorships have many fewer violent crimes than free countries. But freedom is what we were born to and freedom is what we want. Who cares what some General wants? Do your job, which is to defend our liberty.

We could reduce terrorism a lot by putting physical chains and ankle monitors on the entire population too. But wait. That is unnecessary given the spread of cell phones and NSA spies. And the victims pay for it themselves too! How convenient. You can skip the gulag concentration camps for critics of the Government too.

How big is the technology budget to gather and store the immense amount of data they have? No wonder there is a “shortage” of technologists. How many Chinese storage drives do they use?

Jul 24, 2013 4:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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