A bill that would revise the controversial USA PATRIOT Act to curb bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ phone and Internet records overwhelmingly passed the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. A companion bill in the Senate is also gaining support over a blanket renewal proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), The New York Times reports. “The push for reform is the strongest demonstration yet of a decade-long shift from a singular focus on national security at the expense of civil liberties to a new balance in the post-Snowden era,” the report states. The companion bills would prohibit bulk collection. Phone companies, instead, would retain the records until law enforcement obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approval. McConnell, however, “holds powerful levers … that could halt the momentum or eventually alter the legislation,” the report points out. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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