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Leahy proposes new NSA reform bill

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Sen. Patrick Leahy Sen. Patrick Leahy
WASHINGTON -

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy introduced new legislation Tuesday aimed at limiting the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency.

Leahy first introduced the USA Freedom Act last fall, and the House went on to pass a watered-down version of the bill. Leahy's new bill-- which has bipartisan support-- eliminates what he calls the NSA's dragnet collection of phone records. It also adds greater oversight of all domestic surveillance activities.

"Some will argue against it. They say if we don't collect everything, if we don't spy on everyone, we may face another 9/11. Well, we will face terrorist attacks. But, I think it's a greater threat if we don't protect our own basic constitutional freedoms as Americans," said Leahy, D-Vermont.

Under Leahy's bill, the NSA would still be able to collect phone and internet records, but only with a court order for a specific target. The government would also have to disclose its surveillance activities and civil liberties advocates would have a role in the secret court that oversees intelligence operations.

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