US Senate blocks bill on NSA surveillance

Republican-led Senate blocks a House bill that would have ended the bulk collection of domestic phone records.

    The US Senate controlled by the Republican Party has blocked a House bill that would have ended bulk collection of domestic phone records by the National Security Agency (NSA).

    Friday's vote was 57-42, short of the 60-vote threshold to move ahead. It leaves the fate of key provisions of the Patriot Act in doubt with a June 1 deadline less than two weeks away.

    The House of Representatives had overwhelmingly passed the USA Freedom Act last week. The measure would authorise case-by-case searches of records held by phone companies instead of the government.

    It also would extend two other expiring surveillance provisions used frequently by the FBI.

    There was outrage after government's surveillance programme was leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year.

    As part of the spy programme known as PRISM, the NSA tracked private American citizens' phone calls, emails, and spied on allied countries and foreign companies alike.

    In March last year, President Barack Obama proposed an end to the government's bulk collection of telephone metadata in the wake of the revelation.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.