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US Senate Moves to Vote on NSA Surveillance Program Reform

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The US Senate majority has agreed to drop a proposed short term extension of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk surveillance program and move ahead with a vote on the USA Freedom Act to reform the program, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On May 23, 2015, US Senate Republican leadership held up a vote to replace the NSA bulk surveillance program under the USA Freedom Act and pushed instead for a short term extension of the spying program.

We are left with option two, the House-passed bill [the USA Freedom Act]. It is certainly not ideal but…it is now the only realistic way forward,” McConnell said on the floor of the Senate on Sunday.

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McConnell conceded on Sunday that the short term extension of NSA bulk surveillance “will not be possible,” and he called to move for a final vote on the USA Freedom Act. He rejected the idea of allowing the NSA surveillance program to expire as a “totally unacceptable outcome.”

The Senate convened on Sunday to consider the USA Freedom Act, that will allegedly limit the government’s ability to bulk collect US citizens personal data. The bill will replace NSA bulk surveillance authorities that expire at midnight on Sunday.

Defense and intelligence establishments in the United States have been at the center of controversy after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked information on NSA surveillance programs in 2013.

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