Orlando probe leads to defeat of warrantless spying measure

AP News
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Posted: Jun 16, 2016 2:19 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wary House lawmakers have rejected a measure that would have prohibited the U.S. government from searching the online communications of Americans without a warrant.

The vote came days after the mass shooting in Florida.

An amendment to the annual defense spending bill by Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie lost by a 222-198 vote Thursday.

Massie says a vast swath of emails, text messages and photos are incidentally collected by the National Security Agency and examined without a court order.

But opponents of Massie's proposal say it's false and irresponsible to say Americans are being spied upon by their government.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman — Virginia Republican Robert Goodlatte — says Massie's amendment would block investigators from searching lawfully collected information to determine whether the Orlando gunman had contacted terrorists overseas.