In an overwhelming vote, the House moved the U.S. closer to ending the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records Thursday, the most significant demonstration to date of leaker Edward Snowden's impact on the debate over privacy versus security.
But the final version of the legislation, "watered down" in the words of one supporter, also showed the limits of that impact. The bill was severely weakened to mollify U.S. intelligence agencies, which insisted that the surveillance programs that shocked many Americans are a critical bulwark against terror plots.
The bill was approved 303-121, which means that most House members can now say they voted to end what many critics consider the most troubling practice Snowden disclosed — the collection and storage of U.S. calling data by the secretive intelligence agency. But almost no other major provision designed to restrict NSA surveillance, including limits on the secret court that grants warrants to search the data, survived the negotiations to get the bill to the House floor.
Though some privacy activists continued to back the bill, others withdrew support, as did technology companies such as Google and Facebook.
Other provisions that were dropped from the bill included requirements to estimate the number of Americans whose records were captured under the program, and the creation of a public advocate to challenge the government's legal arguments before the secret surveillance court.
NSA officials were pleased with the bill for another reason: The new arrangement will give them access to mobile calling records they did not have under the old program.....snip~
House passes curbs on NSA phone surveillance
Great.....the NSA will have access to Mobile Phone records now. Note they stopped the creation of public advocates office to challenge before the secret surveillance court. Reaid will end allowing the Senate to pass this. As he said something needed to be done. I would watch out for any addages put in by Senators. What say ye?