NSA vote disappoints local rep.
An amendment to the 2014 Department of Defense appropriations bill that would have reigned in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) ability to collect broad swaths of data on U.S. citizens failed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday in a 205-217 vote.
The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, was intended to, “end authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act,” and, “bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation,” according to a summary provided with the measure.
NSA collection of meta-data has come to the forefront of national debate following the leak of information revealing the extent of collection by former defense contractor employee Edward Snowden.
The collection of the data is being defended as legally permissible under the Patriot Act of 2001, which was extended by congress in a 2011 reauthorization.
Rep. Glenn Thompson voted for the measure.
He voted for the Patriot Act extension in 2011.
Thompson weighed in on why he supported reigning in NSA record collections and how he felt about the results of the vote.
“I was very disappointed the amendment failed,” Thompson said. “I believe we are well beyond any legislative intent in the Patriot Act. I have no problem with the NSA gathering information through legal channels… but to cast such a wide net on millions of Americans. I believe they should have to have reasonable intent. Casting such a wide net just leaves so much room for abuse.”