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Boehner: NSA Bill Addresses Privacy Concerns While Maintaining National Security

After a year of global criticism of the reach of American phone and data surveillance programs, the House approved new restrictions Thursday that critics dismissed as watered down.

The USA Freedom Act backed by Republicans and Democrats and supported by President Barack Obama would shift the collection and storage of phone metadata from the National Security Agency to private phone companies.

The measure passed 303-121, with Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio saying the bill maintains an important national security program while addressing concerns that the NSA had overstepped its authority.

"People are a lot more comfortable that the government is not storing all this metadata that we were," the Ohio Republican told reporters. "And I think we also in this bill make it clear that there's no access to this data without a court decision, and the standards for that decision are higher than what they are."

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