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U.S. House introduces competing NSA reform bill

By Kyle Johnson,

The House Intelligence Committee introduced its own reform bill targeting the National Security Agency data collection program.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced that he would be introducing legislation that would aim at curtailing the NSA mass collection of data from U.S. citizens, with such actions as providing more clarity to the Patriot Act's Section 215 and the creation of a new surveillance court order that the NSA would have to use to gain access to phone metadata.

According to TIME, the House legislation would require that the government have a "reasonable and articulable suspicion that an individual phone number is associated with terrorism."

The bill is sponsored by committee chairman Mike Rogers and member Dutch Ruppersberger. They claim that their bill is better for national security interests since the NSA can go ahead and collect data before the court approval - data would be purged if not approved - while Obama's legislation says that a court order is needed before.

Ruppersberger said, "we want to have a flexible system so that we can deal with something right away."

The Guardian, meanwhile, isn't so sure this plan is all that good in reality, at least for Americans. Claiming to have already seen a copy of the bill, the site says that the House bill could potentially lead to more data collection.

The "End Bulk Collection Act" would collect metadata from U.S. citizens who are two "hops" away from a terror suspect to be gathered. It means that if you talked to someone who talked to a terror suspect, your phone records are now up for grabs.

 
 

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