The U.S. Senate has blocked a bill to end bulk collection of American phone records by the National Security Agency. The measure was President Barack Obama's signature proposal to rein in domestic surveillance. Tuesday's vote was largely along party lines, with most Democrats supporting the bill and most Republicans voting to kill it. The Republican-controlled House had previously passed a version of the bill. The revelation that the spying agency had been collecting and storing domestic phone records since shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was among the most significant by Edward Snowden, a former agency network administrator who last year leaked secret NSA documents to journalists. Several prominent tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple, had lobbied the Senate to pass the legislation, which sponsors named the U.S.A. Freedom Act.
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