USA Freedom Act, the NSA Reform Bill, Blocked by US Senate

/ 2 years ago

US Senate

The USA Freedom Act, designed to restrict NSA powers to collect user data, has been blocked by US Senate Republicans in a vote on Tuesday. The bill, supported by tech business coalition Reform Government Surveillance, did not achieve the 60 votes required to become legislation, losing out by two votes, 58 to 42 for consideration. Only four Republicans voted for the bill to be considered.

The group Reform Government Surveillance – comprised of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Aol, Evernote, Dropbox, Linkedin, and Twitter – strongly supported the bill and implored the US Senate to make it law earlier this week. One of the bill’s more outspoken opponents was Senator Mitch McConnell, who argued that the move would hamper the NSA’s capacity to fight terrorism. Before the vote, he said “This is the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our backs.”

The Vermont Democrat who drafted the bill, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, accused opponents of fearmongering to defeat the bill, saying, “Fomenting fear stifles serious debate and constructive solutions. This nation deserves more than that.”

Source: New York Times

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