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Senate Takes Some Muscle Out of Retooled Patriot Act, Worrying FBI

By Steve Neavling

The Senate on Tuesday ended the NSA’s controversial bulk phone-records program but reauthorized most of the Patriot Act that expired over the weekend.

President Obama signed the measure, which passed the Senate with a 67-32 vote, the Wall Street Journal reports.  [2]

The FBI warned that the move would hamper agents who must now obtain phone records on a case-by-case basis from telecommunications companies, rather than collecting data in bulk.

“After a needless delay and inexcusable lapse in important national security authorities, my administration will work expeditiously to ensure our national security professionals again have the full set of vital tools they need to continue protecting the country,” Mr. Obama said in a statement Tuesday.

Civil liberties proponents applauded the move.

“Today the American people are now safe from the federal government’s collection of their personal data,” said Sen. Mike Leeof Utah, the bill’s chief GOP proponent in the Senate.