US House passes an amendment which would remove funding from the NSA's backdoor searches

The United States House of Representatives voted in favor today of an amendment which would cut funding to the NSA's controversial "backdoor search" programs, which critics have long bemoaned as unconstitutional and even illegal.

The amendment, co-sponsored by reps Zoe Lofgren and Thomas Massie, sought to change a provision in the 2015 Defense Appropriations Act which would provide funding to the controversial backdooring which the NSA has installed on consumer products for years. Additionally, the amendment would remove the funding which enabled the NSA to warrantlessly search users' personal information, which includes emails, browsing history, and chat logs.

Proponents of the amendment, like representative Justin Amash, say the bill would go a long way in slowing down what they claim to be "expansive government overreach" conducted by the NSA. The EFF released a statement on the passage of the amendment, saying:

Tonight, the House of Representatives took an important first step in reining in the NSA. 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. 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.

The amendment still has to pass the senate, but with overwhelming support from the House (293 in favor and 123 opposed), it may not experience much opposition. And as NSA spying remains a major issue for many voters, we may see less and less public support for controversial NSA spying programs, especially during future election years.

Source: @EFF on Twitter | Image via Shutterstock - rally against mass surveillance

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