WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate now will decide the fate of a House bill backed by the president that would end the National Security Agency’s collection of American calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities.
But whatever the outcome of a scheduled Tuesday vote, the last two days in Congress have made this much clear: The NSA will ultimately be out of the business of collecting and storing American calling records.
While Congress debated, the law authorizing the collection expired midnight Sunday. The NSA stopped gathering the records from phone companies hours before the deadline.
The bill before the Senate, known as the USA Freedom Act, would reauthorize the surveillance, but would phase out NSA phone records collection over time. If it becomes law, the NSA will resume gathering the phone records, but only for a transition period of six months, in the House version, or a year in the Senate version.