Bill to Halt NSA Warrantless Surveillance, Passed by House, Quietly Dropped before Going to Senate

Monday, December 08, 2014

The do-nothing House of Representatives almost slipped up and did something to protect Americans’ privacy.

 

The House passed a government funding bill that included an amendment that would have ended the ability of the National Security Agency to conduct “backdoor” warrantless surveillance of the content of Americans’ electronic communications under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. The provisions also would have stopped a mandate for technology providers to give law enforcement and other agencies an easy way to tap citizens’ communications.

 

The bipartisan amendment passed with a veto-proof 293 votes. However, it was stripped from the bill by House leadership before it was sent to the Senate. The bill, without the privacy provisions, could come up for a vote there as early as Monday, according to Sean Vitka at the Sunlight Foundation. 

 

Thirty groups from all parts of the political spectrum have signed a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) urging them to restore the amendment.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

30 Groups Protest Secret Deal That Strips Surveillance Reform From the CROmnibus (by Sean Vitka, Sunlight Foundation)

Does Congress Believe In Protecting Your Privacy? Key Amendment Next Week Is the Test (by Mike Masnick, Techdirt)

Supreme Court Votes 5-4 to Reject Challenge to Warrantless Wiretap Program (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Unchecked Wiretapping to Continue: Obama Signs FISA Extension, Senate Votes against Oversight (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

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