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Spending bill takes first swipe at NSA over domestic spying

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tucked inside the massive new government spending bill are several demands from Congress that the National Security Agency finally report to Congress on the details of its snooping programs, including the number of telephone records collected and the number actually viewed by NSA employees.

The 1,532-page bill, which funds the government for fiscal year 2014, also demands the NSA report on all of its other bulk data collection programs, which could expose some of the email tracking programs the government has reportedly run.

Together, they mark the first major swipes Congress will have taken against the NSA since the secretive agency's snooping programs were revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

The bill doesn't contain any restrictions on the NSA, but rather requires the agency to detail its activities. Those details have been coming out in bits and pieces, prompted by Mr. Snowden's leaks.

The new spending bill, which House and Senate negotiators finalized Monday night and which is expected to pass Congress this week, requires the NSA to describe the terrorist plots it believes have been disrupted through its telephone snooping program.

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