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Jun 1, 2015

U.S. Senate to let NSA spy programme lapse, at least temporarily

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate advanced legislation on Sunday reforming a controversial programme that collects Americans’ telephone call records, but final passage appeared doubtful before the surveillance system expires at midnight.

A bill that would end U.S. spy agencies’ bulk collection of the telephone data and replace it with a more targeted system cleared a crucial procedural hurdle, ending an impasse over whether to move ahead with the legislation.

May 31, 2015

Senate meets to debate future of U.S. telephone spying powers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate convened a rare Sunday session in a last-ditch attempt to pass legislation to allow U.S. spy agencies to continue to sweep up information on Americans’ telephone calls and other business records.

Failure to pass such legislation would mean that key provisions of the USA Patriot Act would expire and, facing a midnight Monday) deadline, the National Security Agency would have to shut off a vast surveillance system.

May 29, 2015

Obama says ‘handful of senators’ blocking U.S. surveillance reforms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama warned on Friday that surveillance powers used to prevent attacks on Americans could lapse at midnight on Sunday unless “a handful of senators” stop standing in the way of reform legislation.

Obama said he had told Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senators that he expects them to act swiftly on a bill passed by the House of Representatives that would renew certain powers and reform the bulk collection of telephone data.

May 23, 2015

Fate of U.S. domestic surveillance program uncertain after Senate vote

WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate blocked a
measure to extend spy agencies’ bulk collection of Americans’
telephone records early on Saturday, leaving the fate of the
program uncertain days before its June 1 expiration.

By a vote of 54-45, the Senate failed to reach the 60-vote
threshold needed to advance a bill that would have extended for
two months provisions of the “USA Patriot Act” that allow the
collection of vast amounts of telephone “metadata.”

May 23, 2015

U.S. Senate votes spell uncertain fate for domestic surveillance program

WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) – A measure to extend spy
agencies’ bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records was
blocked in the U.S. Senate early on Saturday, leaving the fate
of the program uncertain days before it expires on June 1.

By a vote of 54-45, the Senate failed to reach the 60-vote
threshold needed to advance a bill that would have extended for
two months provisions of the “USA Patriot Act” that allow the
collection of vast amounts of telephone “metadata”.

May 23, 2015

Senate tries to bridge gaps on domestic surveillance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee released a proposal meant to bridge divides among lawmakers on how to handle the June 1 expiration of domestic spying programs, with no clear outcome in sight late on Friday.

Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina announced his bill as lawmakers tried to figure out how to handle the expiration of certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act that let spy agencies sweep up millions of Americans’ telephone records.

May 22, 2015

Senate intelligence chairman offers surveillance compromise

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday released his proposal for how to handle U.S. spy agencies’ domestic surveillance authorities before they expire at the end of the month.

Republican Senator Richard Burr announced his bill as lawmakers tried to break a deadlock over how to handle provisions of the USA Patriot Act that allow spy agencies to sweep up millions of Americans’ telephone records.

May 21, 2015

Domestic surveillance powers in peril as U.S. Congress fights

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – The future of the U.S.
government’s power to spy on Americans’ phone calls and finances
was up in the air on Thursday as Congress fought over proposed
reforms, with no clear outcome in sight.

Lawmakers appeared to be close to deadlock over the central
question of how far citizens’ privacy rights should be infringed
to protect the country from violent extremists.

May 20, 2015
via Tales from the Trail

Rand Paul talks. And talks.

Photo

Rand Paul in the Senate during his May 20 speech. REUTERS/Senate TV/Handout via Reuters

Editor’s Note: Paul ended his roughly 10-and-a-half-hour speech just shy of midnight. As the hours passed, he was joined by other legislators, including Democrat Ron Wyden, who also want to convince the Senate not to extend provisions of the USA Patriot Act that provide the legal basis for the collection of billions of telephone call records. Read the full story.

May 20, 2015

U.S. senators try to block extension of bulk data collection

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) – Republican Rand Paul
interrupted debate in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to make a
speech opposing legislation that would extend U.S. spy agencies’
collection of Americans’ telephone data.

Paul, a 2016 presidential candidate, was expected to keep
speaking until midnight, or later. As the hours passed, he was
joined by other legislators, including Democrat Ron Wyden, who
also want to convince the Senate not to extend provisions of the
USA Patriot Act that provide the legal basis for the collection
of billions of telephone call records.

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
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