Wired is reporting that the United States House of Representatives voted late Thursday night to cut the NSA’s surveillance funding. This could be a huge blow to the agency’s continued controversial spying efforts and a very welcome one to many Americans and foreigners alike.
In a late night session, the House of Representatives voted 293 to 123 to pass an amendment to a Department of Defense appropriations bill that would cut off all funds for two of the agency’s most embattled activities: First, using the 702 provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to perform searches of collected surveillance data that target Americans, and second, asking hardware markers and software developers to build backdoors into their tools designed to give the agency access to users’ communications. On that second count, the amendment specifically forbids funding for any agency attempt “to mandate or request that a person redesign its product or service to facilitate…electronic surveillance.”
Both of those funding bans represent a clear reaction against behavior revealed from the leaks of Edward Snowden, which have shown over the past year that the NSA subverted cryptography standards, diverted hardware shipments to plant bugs in products, and found other ways to gather raw communication data from Silicon Valley firms like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and others. Read the rest of Wired’s story here.
I’m sure the NSA still has some reach and power and will likely be calling in favors and doing its thing to get this vote overturned or killed in some way; but it is good to see the government taking a stand for the people. Now let’s hope we can continue the march forward. What do you think of these developments? Talk to us in the comments or on any of our social media outlets, links located to the left of your screen.