Washington — On Tuesday, the US senate advanced a bill to renew the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) warrantless internet surveillance programme, as a final push by privacy advocates to derail the measure came up one vote short. The vote marked a disappointing end to a years-long effort by a coalition of liberal Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans to redefine the scope of US intelligence collection in the wake of the 2013 disclosures of classified surveillance secrets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The legislation just cleared the procedural 60-vote threshold required to limit debate in the senate and was expected to earn the simple majority required to officially pass through the chamber sometime later this week. The vote, which split party lines and was held open for nearly an hour-and-a-half as opposing sides jockeyed for final votes, was 60-38. The bill would extend for six years and with minimal changes the NSA programme, which gathers information from for...

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