Bill ending NSA bulk data collection clears U.S. House

WASHINGTON Thu May 22, 2014 12:01pm EDT

WASHINGTON May 22 (Reuters) - A bill to end the government's bulk collection of telephone records cleared the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday in the first legislative effort at surveillance reform since former contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the program a year ago.

The measure would end the National Security Agency's practice of gathering bulk information on calls made by millions of Americans and storing them for at least five years. It would instead leave such records in the custody of telephone companies.

The "USA Freedom Act" would allow the NSA to collect a person's phone records if investigators can convince the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court they have a reasonable suspicion the person was involved in terrorism.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Eric Beech)

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