The US senate has blocked a measure to extend spy agencies’ bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records. The vote of 54 to 45 failed to reach the 60 threshold which was needed.
The result came after the Senate narrowly blocked the “USA Freedom Act” a bill that would have ended the bulk data collection.
Senators are to meet again on May 31 – a day before the bill is due to expire.
The National Security Agency sweeps up vast amounts of Americans’ telephone records and business information under the collection programme. It was exposed two years ago by Edward Snowden a former NSA contractor. He is now a fugitive in Russia.
A US appeals court has already ruled the bulk collection illegal.
The NSA has collected data about numbers called and times but not the content of conversations. It also allegedly spied on European firms. German Chancellor was among individuals targeted.