House panel approves spying bill, targets leaks

The House Intelligence Committee approved legislation Thursday to re-authorize the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies. 
The bill includes an additional $75 million to combat insider threats following the leaks of classified information by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. 
The panel also approved an amendment from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) requiring a declassification review of documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. 
{mosads}The committee approved two amendments from Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), one to support improve cybersecurity education and one to crack down on leaks. 
The panel rejected two amendments from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to tighten oversight of the government’s drone program. His first amendment would have required annual reports on deaths in drone strikes and the other would have required an independent review before any American citizen could be targeted for a lethal strike. 
“Since [2011], the Committee has produced bills that have saved the taxpayers billions of dollars, were first to address insider threats, increased attention to counterintelligence efforts, curbed personnel growth, shaped the execution of important national security policies, and enhanced investment in cutting-edge technologies critical to the security of the nation,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said in a statement.
The Senate Intelligence Committee advanced its own bill to re-authorize the intelligence programs earlier this month. That legislation would also provide additional funding to prevent leaks of classified information.
The Snowden leaks prompted a public outcry over the scope of the NSA’s surveillance programs and have led to pushes to rein in the agency.
Both Intelligence committees are working on bills aimed at improving public trust in the NSA while preserving the agency’s sweeping spying powers. But other lawmakers, including leading members of both Judiciary committees, are pushing bills to limit the NSA’s power and end its bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
Tags Intelligence Authorization Mike Rogers nsa Surveillance
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