US lawmakers advance reforms to surveillance programme

DPA Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018

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A US Senate committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would place new restrictions on a National Security Agency surveillance programme that collects telephone records.

The Senate Intelligence Committee approved the measure 11-4 in a bid to restrict the bulk collection of phone records, require a suspicion of terrorism before the records can be searched, limit access to the database of records and institute a 10-year prison sentence for unauthorised access to the database.

Critics say the measure does not go far enough and worry the bill amounts to an endorsement of the NSA programme. The measure can now be taken up by the full Senate and would also have to clear the lower House of Representatives before President Obama could sign it into law.

A separate measure under consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee would go further by ending the bulk collection of phone records altogether.

Published on November 01, 2013

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