Mon | Apr 24, 2017

US House passes bill to end bulk collection of phone records

Published:Friday | May 15, 2015 | 5:00 AM

WASHINGTON, United States (AP):

The House of Representatives voted by a wide margin to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records and replace it with a system to search the data held by telephone companies on a case-by-case basis.

If the House bill becomes law, it will represent one of the most significant changes stemming from the unauthorised disclosures of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The House vote set the stage for a showdown with the Senate just weeks before the Bush-era provisions authorising the programme are due to expire.

President Barack Obama supports the House legislation, known as the USA Freedom Act, which is in line with a proposal he made last March. The House passed a similar bill last year, but it failed in the Senate.

Many Senate Republicans don't like the measure, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has introduced a separate version that would keep the program as is. Yet, he also faces opposition from within his party and has said he is open to compromise.