The vast collection of Americans' phone data revealed last year by
former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has drawn a firestorm of
criticism, prompting President Barack Obama to introduce reforms
The measures fell short of dismantling U.S. electronic spying
programs, including the portion of the USA Patriot Act, the
post-9/11 law passed during the administration of Republican
President George W. Bush, that allows the surveillance program.
The Republican National Committee condemned the massive collection
of Americans' personal data in a resolution passed at its annual
meeting on Friday.
"Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human
rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society
and this program represents a gross infringement of the freedom of
association and the right to privacy and goes far beyond even the
permissive limits set by the Patriot Act," the resolution said.
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The resolution urged Republican lawmakers to support legislation
limiting the electronic surveillance program "to make it clear that
blanket surveillance of the Internet activity, phone records and
correspondence" in the United States is illegal.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and John Whitesides;
editing by Bill Trott and Meredith Mazzilli)
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