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U.S. House Votes To Continue NSA Surveillance Program


A protester stands in front of the U.S. Consulate in Hamburg. The U.S. vote is unlikely to settle the debate over privacy rights and government efforts to thwart terrorism.

A protester stands in front of the U.S. Consulate in Hamburg. The U.S. vote is unlikely to settle the debate over privacy rights and government efforts to thwart terrorism.

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to continue the collection of hundreds of millions of Americans' phone records as part of the fight against terrorism.

In a 217-205 vote on July 24, lawmakers rejected a measure that would have ended the authority of the surveillance program.

The vote was the first chance for lawmakers to take a stand on the secret surveillance program since former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified documents last month that revealed the monumental scope of the U.S. government's activities.

But vote is unlikely to settle the debate over privacy rights and government efforts to thwart terrorism.

White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a statement on the eve of the vote, arguing that the change would "hastily dismantle one of our intelligence community's counterterrorism tools."

Representative Justin Amash (Republican-Michigan), the bill's sponsor, tweeted in response, "Pres Obama opposes my #NSA amendment, but American people overwhelmingly support it."

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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