House lawmakers are attempting to revive a popular bill that would limit the National Security Agency’s ability to spy on Americans’ communications data, a day after the measure was left out from ongoing government funding negotiations.
The measure, dubbed the Secure Data Act and spearheaded by Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, would block the NSA and other intelligence agencies from compelling tech companies to create so-called backdoor vulnerabilities into their devices or software. Sen. Ron Wyden, also a Democrat, introduced a similar version of the bill earlier Thursday.
A Lofgren aide said the bill is expected to be introduced later Thursday with Republican cosponsors.
A broader form of the legislation overwhelmingly passed the House in June with bipartisan support on a 293-123 vote, in the form of an amendment tacked on to a defense appropriations bill. That previous bill additionally would have prevented intelligence agencies from engaging in content surveillance of Americans’ communications data without a warrant.
But the language was left out of ongoing negotiations between both chambers over a spending package that would fund most government agencies into next year. The House has additionally barred amendments to that omnibus measure, a common practice.