WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
The bill was approved by an overwhelming 303-121 margin.
But one supporter complains the final version was "watered down." Other major provisions designed to restrict NSA surveillance, including limits on the secret court that grants warrants to search the data, did not survive the negotiations to get the bill to the House floor.
Even the prohibition on bulk collection of Americans' communications records has been called into question by some activists who say a last-minute change in wording diminished what was sold as a ban.
House Intelligence Committee member Adam Schiff says the vagueness is designed to protect the government's surveillance methods, not to facilitate secret bulk collection.
NSA officials were pleased with a provision that will give them access to mobile calling records they did not have under the old program.
Some privacy activists continue to back the bill, but others have withdrawn support, as have technology companies such as Google and Facebook.
The measure now heads to the Senate.
169-c-21-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent)-"expected this summer"-AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports the House has approved the first legislative response to the disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. (22 May 2014)
<<CUT *169 (05/22/14)££ 00:21 "expected this summer"
168-w-36-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent, with Representative Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman, House Intelligence Committee)--The House has voted to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. (22 May 2014)
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170-a-09-(Representative Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman, House Intelligence Committee, during debate)-"around the world"-House Intelligence committee Chairman Mike Rogers says the bill addresses privacy concerns while still protecting the county. ((cut used in wrap)) (22 May 2014)
<<CUT *170 (05/22/14)££ 00:09 "around the world"
163-a-13-(Representative Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman, House Intelligence Committee, during debate)-"of killing Americans"-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers says the bill doesn't weaken the ability to protect the country. (22 May 2014)
<<CUT *163 (05/22/14)££ 00:13 "of killing Americans"
164-a-07-(Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., ranking Democrat, House Intelligence Committee, during debate)-"will go away"-Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger says the government will no longer hold on to millions of phone numbers. (22 May 2014)
<<CUT *164 (05/22/14)££ 00:07 "will go away"