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Technology / Software

US House defeats proposal to restrict NSA’s surveillance programme

The US House of Representatives has narrowly defeated a proposal to restrict the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Prism surveillance programme.

The lawmakers voted 217 to 205 to defeat a proposal, which could have restricted the NSA to collect electronic data.

The amendment was introduced by Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash based on Edward Snowden’s revelations last month.

Reuters reported that Republican Representative Tom Cotton, who endorsed the NSA programme, described the metadata being collected as essentially a five-column spreadsheet containing the number of the caller, the date, the time and the duration of call.

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Cotton was quoted by Reuters saying: "This programme has stopped dozens of terrorist attacks. That means it has saved untold American lives. This amendment … does not limit the programme, it does not modify it, it does not constrain the programme, it ends the programme. It blows it up."

Earlier this week, a secret court in the US granted the National Security Administration’s (NSA) request in continuing the telephone surveillance as part of a snooping programme that was uncovered by Edward Snowden.

Last month, it was reported that NSA and the FBI tapped directly into the servers of nine major US tech firms to collect the users data.

Tech firms including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and others were found in NSA documents, as firms participating in the US surveillance programme.

Nineteen US organisations represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have sued NSA for breaching constitutional rights.
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CBR Staff Writer

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