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US House panel OKs measure curbing bulk surveillance

Activists protest government surveillance of US citizens outside the Justice Department on January 17, 2014 in Washington, DCA US House of Representatives committee advanced a bill Thursday to scale back bulk surveillance efforts following leaks of the programs by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The USA Freedom Act, which was approved on a bipartisan 25-2 vote, would end large-scale data collection under the Patriot Act and other laws. It would need approval by the full House and Senate to go to the White House. The measure, if enacted, would also allow challenges to national security letter gag orders and include other measures to improve transparency of data collection for law enforcement and intelligence efforts.

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