The US Congress has given its backing to a bill giving the government more spying powers, in a move breaking from the current disharmony between the White House and Capitol Hill. By a comfortable margin the Democrat-led House of Representatives followed the Senate in approving the President’s plans to allow federal agencies to carry out electronic surveillance without a warrant. But the vote limits the new power to a six month period during which Congress is meant to come up with an alternative. Authorities can now intercept without a court order communications between people in the US and foreign suspects overseas. The Bush administration had argued the law was necessary to enable intelligence officials to prevent potential terrorist attacks on the US. But Civil liberties groups claim the measure creates a broad net that will sweep up law-abiding American citizens.