The Obama administration and Senate negotiators appear close to an agreement to strengthen legislation that would curtail the bulk collection of data on Americans.
In May, the House passed a watered-down version of a bill sponsored by Rep.
The administration raised last-minute objections to some provisions in the House bill, raising the ire of privacy groups. Leahy, chairman of the
According to an administration official familiar with the discussions, a compromise was reached over the weekend.
As part of the deal, the intelligence community agreed to a stricter definition of the search terms the NSA may use to seek data from telephone companies that might be useful in connecting the dots between known terrorists, said the official who would not be identified talking about ongoing negotiations.
Privacy advocates thought the definition for selection terms in the House bill created a loophole for NSA to continue its broad surveillance.
Intelligence officials also agreed to be more transparent about U.S. government snooping and consented to strengthening the role of a newly created public advocate, who would participate in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court proceedings, the official said.
Privacy advocates said negotiations took a turn for the better when the
Leahy's office said Monday that negotiations are continuing and passage of a strengthened bill is possible this month.
“Sen. Leahy believes that