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READ: Bipartisan Bill To End NSA's Domestic Bulk Collection

Bipartisan concern on Capitol Hill about data from Americans' phone and Internet records being vacuumed up by the National Security Agency has led to an unusual alliance involving a prominent House Republican and a veteran Senate Democrat.

NPR's Larry Abramson writes that:

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., today introduced a bill aimed at ending the bulk collection of telephone records by the NSA.

Though the bill comes amid growing outrage at spying on foreign leaders, it is focused on surveillance programs that sweep up data from ordinary Americans, not on overseas monitoring.

Civil liberties groups largely back this approach. They are opposed to an effort by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to keep the phone collection program alive, while increasing oversight and transparency. Top NSA leaders will testify about the programs before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees later on Tuesday.

The lawmakers' legislation, which they're calling the "USA Freedom Act," is posted here and in the box below. Just click on the title to pop up a more readable version.

Related:

-- New York Times editorial board supports the Sensenbrenner/Leahy legislation.

-- The bill is one element of "the NSA's worst day," says The Atlantic Wire.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Larry Abramson is NPR's National Security Correspondent. He covers the Pentagon, as well as issues relating to the thousands of vets returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.