Feeds

Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

New rules would put restrictions on budget use

Security for virtualized datacentres

The US House of Representatives has passed a measure aimed at limiting the NSA's ability to access personal data and conduct surveillance.

The House on Thursday voted to approve an amendment to the 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4870) seeking to prevent warrantless collection of data from government databases as well as the tampering with equipment for surveillance.

The amendment, put forward by Thomas Massie (R-KY) as well as Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) would declare that that no funds in the budget could be used for controversial 'Section 702' mass data collection under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and would prevent government agencies from forcing individuals and companies to equip products with 'backdoor' mechanisms for surveillance.

The 'Section 702' provision has been the controversial measure used to pull large collections of data from telecommunications firms, while the forced implementation of surveillance backdoors was alleged at firms such as RSA.

"There's no question Americans have become increasingly alarmed with the breadth of unwarranted government surveillance programs used to store and search their private data," the three representatives said of the amendment.

"By adopting this amendment, Congress can take a sure step toward shutting the back door on mass surveillance."

The House approved the amendment late Thursday with a 293-123 vote. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act itself is still awaiting approval by the House and will then be passed on to the Senate for consideration.

Following the vote, the Electronic Frontier Foundation applauded the move, which they say will help protect the privacy of Americans.

"The House voted overwhelmingly to cut funding for two of the NSA's invasive surveillance practices: the warrantless searching of Americans' international communications, and the practice of requiring companies to install vulnerabilities in communications products or services," said staff attorney Mark Rumold.

"We applaud the House for taking this important first step, and we look forward to other elected officials standing up for our right to privacy." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.