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.
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."
Nineteen US organisations represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have sued NSA for breaching constitutional rights.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.
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