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Human Rights Watch

Congress approves overhaul of NSA surveillance

Congress approves overhaul of NSA surveillance

Congress gave final approval Tuesday to the most sweeping rollback of government surveillance powers in the post-Sept. 11-era, clearing the way for a new program that bans the National Security Agency from collecting and storing Americans' telephone dialing records.

The Senate's 67-32 vote reflected growing concerns about privacy, but also increasing unease among lawmakers that Sunday's abrupt expiration of the surveillance program, caused by congressional deadlock, posed a national security risk.

The new system allows intelligence agencies to access the same kind of call records, but only by requesting the information from telephone companies with a court...