‘Weak Attempt at NSA Reform’ Sails Through House

Dismayed civil liberties groups say they are now looking to the Senate for a better version of the bill Sarah Lazare, staff writer, Common Dreams – A “watered down” NSA reform bill that may curb, but certainly not end, the bulk surveillance of innocent people passed the House Thursday morning with bi-partisan support. The USA Freedom Act passed with a final vote of 303 to 121, thanks to backing from a majority of Republicans and Democrats. In the end, 51 Republicans and 70 Democrats voted against. The bill, conceived as a response to public outrage following revelations made possible by leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was initially supported by some civil liberties groups.  However, as previously reported by Common Dreams, their approval diminished sharply as a key protections were stripped from the measure while loopholes were added. Critics charge that pressure from the Obama administration on House leaders...

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