Politics & Government

Senate to vote on NSA overhaul bill

June 6, 2013: A sign outside the National Security Administration (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md.
June 6, 2013: A sign outside the National Security Administration (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. AP

The Senate could vote as early as Friday on a bill that would revamp the way the National Security Agency collects telephone data in its domestic spying program.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed a motion Wednesday to end debate on the USA Freedom Act, a measure authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., that would essentially end the agency’s bulk collection of so-called metadata.

Broad searches, either through a particular service provider or by a broad geographic region or zip code, would be stopped under the bill, Leahy said in an outline of the bill. The government wouldn’t be able to collect all information relating to a particular service provider or broad geographic region under the bill.

The bill has bipartisan support ranging from liberal Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to conservative firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The House or Representatives passed its own version of the bill in May. Civil liberties advocates have dismissed it as ‘watered down.’

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