House votes to weaken NSA metadata collection

President Barack Obama delivers a health care address to a joint session of Congress at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
For once, it seems like Democrats and Republicans are agreeing on something. The US House of Representatives today approved the USA Freedom Act, a bill which would disallow the NSA from collecting telephone metadata in bulk; only targeted approaches would be allowed by the new measure. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, at 338-88. The timing is important here, as Section 215 of the Patriot Act – the legal foundation the NSA uses to justify its data collection – is set to expire on June 1. The bill now has to pass through the Senate, which is…

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