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Senate to let NSA spy program lapse, at least temporarily

Patricia Zengerle and Warren Strobel, Reuters

The U.S. Senate advanced legislation on Sunday reforming a controversial program that collects Americans' telephone call records, but final passage appeared doubtful before the surveillance system expires at midnight. The Senate voted 77-17 in favor of a measure that allowed the chamber to begin debate on the bill, called the USA Freedom Act. But the domestic surveillance program was still due to expire at midnight (12:00 a.m. EDT on Monday) after Senator Rand Paul blocked several attempts at short-term extensions.