Posted 06/03/2015 at 8:03 AM
Posted 2 years ago
The Senate has agreed to approve the contentious USA Freedom Act, effectively curtailing the bulk collection of domestic telephone records.
The approval came after a 67-32 vote on Tuesday, two days after the previous bulk collection program expired at midnight this past Sunday.
The bill now awaits the signature of President Barack Obama before the National Security Agency can send those records back to the telecommunications carriers.
It’s been reported that the NSA ceased the process once the provision expired.
The USA Freedom Act was aimed specifically at section 215 of the Patriot Act which allowed for the bulk collection to take place in regards to counter-terrorism investigations.
The bill had significant bipartisan support in the House of Representatives before reaching the Senate floor, where a debate ensued over the bill’s possible perceived damage to the efforts of protecting the nation versus the need for transparency and respect for the privacy of its citizens.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had tried to amend the bill, but was shot down by others in the Senate who felt it could derail the bill’s being passed and also further lessen the trust of Americans in their government in the wake of the data collection being exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.