In a surprise decision, the House of Representatives has voted to limit some of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) programs. The proposal that has passed will prevent the NSA from utilizing backdoor searches without the appropriate authorization. No longer will it be possible for the NSA to use backdoor searches without a warrant, which greatly limits its overall warrantless search capabilities. The proposal strictly prohibits the NSA from using any government funds for programs that would involve those searches.
Both the Senate and the President must still approve the bill before it can go into law. Though, President Obama should not object to the the bill which is technically an amendment to the defense appropriations bill for 2015. As for the Senate, this 293-123 vote shows that there is broad Congressional support for restraints being put on the NSA, so the bill could definitely pass the Senate.
One of the most re-occurring themes in the Edward Snowden leaks was that the NSA uses technology companies to access data, even though the agency hasn’t been given any authorization in the form of a warrant. Using technology companies to obtain information means using backdoors, and if this bill passes completely, that won’t be allowed anymore.
Via [The Verge]