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US Senate advances reform bill curbing NSA spy powers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heads to to his office at the US Capitol on June 1, 2015 in Washington, DCThe US Senate on Tuesday advanced a landmark measure that ends the government’s bulk data collection of Americans’ phone records, while reauthorizing other surveillance powers that lapsed this week. The USA Freedom Act would halt the National Security Agency’s dragnet of telephone data from millions of Americans who have no connection to terrorism, the most controversial surveillance program among several signed into law in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001. The reform bill would shift the storage of the metadata from the NSA to the telephone companies, allowing authorities to access the information only with a warrant from a secret counterterror court that identifies a specific person or group of people suspected of terrorist ties.

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