By Jennifer Martinez - 12/31/12 05:12 PM EST
Critics of the bill said the surveillance program lacked sufficient oversight and privacy protections for people's email and phone communications.
In a floor speech last week, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said intelligence officials have failed to provide estimates on how often U.S. citizens' email or phone communications have been swept up under the foreign surveillance program. He offered an amendment that would require intelligence agencies to report that information.
Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also offered amendments to the bill that were aimed at beefing up the privacy protections in it. All four amendments were rejected last week.
The bill passed the Senate 73-23.