Lawmakers in the US House have unanimously voted to end the National Security Agency’s bulk phone metadata collection program. Members of Congress were voting on the USA Freedom Act, a bill introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, who also introduced the Patriot Act in 2001. The bill, designed to curb the vast bulk collection of data on US citizens, passed a 32-0 vote across party lines, making it the first surveillance bill to make it to the House floor.
A House committee on Wednesday unanimously voted to end the National Security Agency’s bulk telephone metadata collection program. The vote by the House Judiciary Committee was 32-0. The measure moves to the full House, where its passage is uncertain. “Today’s strong, bipartisan vote by the House Judiciary Committee takes us one step closer to ending bulk collection once and for all and safeguards Americans’ civil liberties as our intelligence community keeps us safe from foreign enemies who wish us harm,” committee lawmakers said in a joint statement. Ars provided details Tuesday about the package. However, even under the measure, the NSA may still get telephone metadata records from the telcos under a different standard than what is required under the Fourth Amendment. The legislation removes the trillion-plus-record phone metadata database from the NSA’s direct control.