Surveillance reform gained new congressional momentum as the US House of Representatives unexpectedly and overwhelmingly endorsed stripping a major post-9/11 power from the National Security Agency on June 19.
By a substantial and bipartisan margin, 293 to 121, representatives moved to ban the NSA from searching warrantlessly through its troves of ostensibly foreign communications content for Americans’ data, the so-called “backdoor search” provision revealed in August by the Guardian thanks to leaks from Edward Snowden.
“I think it’s the first time the House has had the opportunity to vote on the 4th Amendment and the NSA as a discrete item. It was an overwhelming vote,” Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, told the Guardian. She said the vote succeeded despite efforts of what she called “the intel establishment.”
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