The United States Senate has passed a bill on Tuesday that ends the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records by the National Security Agency.
This reverses national security policy that had been in place since shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The Senate passed the USA Freedom Act by a vote of 67-32, with support from both Democrats and Republicans after weeks of angry debate over how best to balance concerns about privacy and terror threats.
The House of Representatives passed the bill last month. Following the Senate vote it was sent to the White House, where President Barack Obama signed the bill into law.
The USA Freedom Act increases transparency and reforms the secret court that oversees surveillance requests. Phone companies will retain data and the NSA can obtain information about targeted individuals with permission from a federal court.