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Jun 3, 2015

Obama signs bill reforming surveillance program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday legislation passed by Congress earlier in the day reforming a government surveillance program that swept up millions of Americans’ telephone records.

Reversing security policy in place since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the bill ends a system exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The spy agency collected and searched records of phone calls looking for terrorism leads but was not allowed to listen to their content.

Jun 2, 2015

U.S. Congress reverses post-Sept. 11 surveillance program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed
legislation reforming a government surveillance program that
swept up millions of Americans’ telephone records, sending the
bill to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into
law.

Reversing security policy in place since shortly after the
Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the bill would end a system exposed by
former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The
spy agency collected and searched records of phone calls looking
for terrorism leads but was not allowed to listen to their
content.

Jun 2, 2015

Bill to limit domestic spy programs passes U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a bill reforming a government domestic spying program that swept up millions of Americans’ telephone records, sending the bill to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Reversing U.S. security policy that had been in place since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the bill would end a system exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. The eavesdropping agency collected and searched records of phone calls looking for terrorism leads but it was not allowed to listen to the content of calls.

Jun 2, 2015

Bill to curtail U.S. domestic spying advances but political fight looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted to move ahead on Tuesday with a bill that would end the ability of spy agencies to collect Americans’ telephone records in bulk and install a more targeted system, but a political fight loomed over potential changes to the bill.

The procedural vote of 83-14 limited debate on legislation known as the USA Freedom Act but arguments over how to balance Americans’ concerns about privacy and fears of terrorism, which had already held up the bill, could stall it further.

Jun 2, 2015

U.S. lawmakers warn proposed changes could doom spy bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – High-ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives warned the Senate on Monday that proposed changes to the USA Freedom Act, a bill reforming domestic surveillance, were unlikely to pass the House and might doom the contentious spy program.

The renewed tension between the two houses came a day after the Senate failed to pass legislation extending the legal authority for U.S. spy agencies’ collection of American’s phone records in time to keep the program from expiring.

Jun 1, 2015

U.S. Senate to let NSA spy program lapse, at least for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The legal authority for U.S. spy agencies’ collection of Americans’ phone records and other data was set to expire at midnight on Sunday after the U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation extending the controversial powers.

After debate pitting Americans’ distrust of intrusive government against fears of terrorist attacks, the Senate voted to move ahead with reform legislation that would replace the bulk phone records program revealed two years ago by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

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.”

    • 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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