The US senate has narrowly passed a bill approving the ongoing funding for the National Security Agency’s (NSA) PRISM spy programme, after representatives attempted to block the controversial programme.
The vote was passed 217 to 205, as reported by the Associated Press, during a wider debate on overall defence funding for the US, and was a chance for those who have spoken up over the PRISM programme to try and stifle efforts to allow it to continue.
Republican Justin Amash, said that those in the Senate owed it to the US citizens to stop the collection of data as it was being touted as vital without any real justifications.
"Opponents of this amendment will use the same tactic that every government throughout history has used to justify its violation of rights: fear. They'll tell you that the government must violate the rights of the American people to protect us against those who hate our freedom,” he said.
However, just enough backers of the programme voted for it to continue, claiming it was a vital part of the security service’s ability to try and protect the US.
Despite losing the amendment Amash said on Twitter afterwards that he would continue to fight the government’s survelliance of its own citizens.
We came close (205-217). If just 7 Reps had switched their votes, we would have succeeded. Thank YOU for making a difference. We fight on.— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) July 24, 2013
PRISM has generated political strife across the world, with the UK forced to defend its own spy agency, GCHQ, from claims over its involvement, while the whistleblower who released the information, Edward Snowden, has been holed up in Russia for four weeks seeking asylum.
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