The House narrowly defeated an amendment Wednesday that would have changed the way the National Security Agency could collect bulk communications records

NSA Bulk Surveillance Lives on After House Votes Against Amendment

Add Your Comments

The US House of Representatives narrowly defeated an amendment Wednesday that would have changed the way the National Security Agency could collect bulk communications records of US citizens.

House lawmakers voted 217-205 against the plan, sponsored by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.), that aimed to restrict the collection of the records only when there was a connection to relevant ongoing investigations, the Washington Post says.

The issue has divided lawmakers on both sides, with Republicans voting 134-94 against the amendment, and Democrats voting 111-82 in support of the plan, according to a report by Politico.

“It is unfortunate that Congress voted today against the privacy of American citizens. The Amash/Conyers amendment would have ensured that our country and citizens are safe from outside threats without having their lives intruded upon by an overly aggressive National Security Agency,” Christian Dawson, co-founder and chairman of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition said in a statement. “We applaud Representatives Amash and Conyers for their leadership in protecting the privacy of Americans, and call on all members of Congress to come together on future legislation to do the same.”

The NSA program has brought privacy concerns to Internet companies and service providers, as well as their users. The Cloud Security Alliance believes that PRISM could have a negative impact on US cloud services, as 60 percent of non-US residents in a recent survey it conducted reported to be less likely to use US-based cloud services after the NSA PRISM program came to light last month.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) agrees that the NSA program has “ruined and hurt [the United States’] reputation abroad,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

The vote is an early step in what is sure to be a long and contentious battle in protecting US citizens’ privacy rights online, and indicates a problematic trend for US-based cloud hosting providers.

Newsletters

Subscribe Now and Get Our Exclusive Report on "The Hosting Infrastructure Ecosystem"

Enter your email to receive messages about offerings by Penton, its brands, affiliates and/or third-party partners, consistent with Penton's Privacy Policy.

Related Forum Threads

Add Your Comments

  • (will not be published)