Congress Votes Down NSA Data Collection Limits

As they deliberate on the bill that funds national defense, the House of Representatives voted down an amendment by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) to limit the NSA’s powers to collect data on Americans who are not officially under investigation.  The White House and Republican leaders were both less than enthusiastic about the bill, which failed by a 217-205 vote.

Privacy hawks in the United States Congress seem willing to use the power of the purse strings to limit the federal government’s data collection efforts. Last week, a House committee voted to restrict government departments (such as the IRS or SEC) from aggressive investigations through the Financial Services appropriations process.  Unlike that earlier measure, the amendment which failed Wednesday night dealt directly with the Department of Defense and National Security Agency programs.

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