House: End NSA Phone Call Collection


Members of the protest group Code Pink, Sarah Harbi (L) and Cayman MacDonald (R) protest against U.S. President Barack Obama and the NSA before his arrival at the Department of Justice in Washington, January 17, 2014. Obama banned U.S. eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies on Friday and began reining in the vast collection of Americans' phone data in a series of reforms triggered by Edward Snowden's revelations.

The House passed the USA Freedom Act on Wednesday by a vote of 338-88, in an effort to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone metadata. After June 1, the NSA’s authority for collecting the metadata under Section 215 of the Patriot Act will expire. The Freedom Act aims to keep metadata with the telecoms, which will have the authority to search for information after receiving a court order. The telecoms would also have more options for publicly reporting national-security requests. The bill moves on to the Senate, where several Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have already denounced it.