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US House of Representatives Passes NSA Surveillance Reform Bill by 303 Votes

US House of Representatives Passes NSA Surveillance Reform Bill by 303 Votes
  • On May 22, 2014

US House of Representatives passed a bill by 303 votes seeking to change the intrusive potential of the NSA. This is the first attempt to reform the National Security Agency (NSA) since Edward Snowden revelations, but the Silicon Valley and NGOs have criticized the bill and withdrew their support.

Nearly a year after the revelations of the former provider of the NSA, the House adopted by 303 votes against 121 the bill “USA Freedom Act“, which represents the first major reform of electronic surveillance programs by NSA since the September 11, implementing the commitments of President Barack Obama.

According to the bill, which must still be reviewed and amended by the Senate in the coming weeks, the NSA could not force U.S. carriers to deliver him continuously all the metadata (time, duration, dialed number) of calls on networks in the United States. The FBI and the NSA should first obtain an individual order with the secret court dedicated to plays, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Inland Revenue), on the basis of suspicion “reasonable” before obtaining the records of a number given.

The conditions for obtaining data other than voice are also tightened, but to a lesser extent.
“Unacceptable” version for high tech giants But after talks with described as “intense” by an elected White House, some very technical lines were modified Tuesday compared to the version passed unanimously in committee on May 8 The White House said Wednesday that it fully supported the new version.

The change has provoked an outcry from the broad coalition of advocacy groups for privacy and Internet giants, including Google, Apple and Microsoft. Reformers believe that the reform effectively banned full electronic data collection of all Americans, but that nothing would prevent the NSA to monitor a massive group of people, potentially millions.

“The latest version creates an unacceptable loophole that could allow the massive collection of online” data, said in a statement the coalition Government Reform Monitoring, which includes AOL, Apple, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo!. “I share your disappointment,” said co-author of the law, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner. ” But do not let the best be the enemy of the good,” he added touting new provisions increasing transparency activities of the NSA.

“This is the end of the secret laws , if the administration violates the spirit of the law, everyone will know ,” said he said. The chairman of the Justice Committee , Bob Goodlatte , recalled that the mission of the NSA was ” targeting foreigners, not Americans.” Reformers now have to improve the text of the discussions in June to the Senate, where they can rely on powerful allies.