House approves USA Freedom Act to put restrictions on NSA's bulk collection of phone records
WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives approved the USA Freedom Act Thursday, putting restrictions on the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records. As it moves to the Senate, some say it's still not enough to protect Americans' privacy.
Under the new plan, phone companies will hold onto records for 18 months, not the NSA, who will need a court's approval to see them. For the first time, the NSA will also have access to cellphone records.
The changes come a year after former NSA employee Edward Snowden exposed the NSA's far-reaching phone tapping program.
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Some civil liberties agencies say they are glad to see Congress take a step to limit the NSA's program, but many others are denouncing the bill, saying it does not do enough. The local ACLU chapter says the bill is far from perfect, but acknowledged this is the first time Congress has moved to limit the scope of the NSA's data collection.
Long Island's entire congressional delegation voted in favor of the bill. It now goes to the Senate.