THE HOTLY DISCUSSED US Freedom Act has flopped in the Senate after a lack of votes failed to guarantee its passage.
Online rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) had backed the reforms, as had a collection of technology firms that supported its hands-off approach to government surveillance.
They are likely to be disappointed by the result of the vote yesterday in the US Senate.
In a statement the EFF expressed its disappointment at the stalling of progress, but said that it hoped the Act would be presented to the Senate again.
BREAKING: The Senate votes to stall NSA reform—but the fight isn't over. EFF's take: https://t.co/J1wFaDp6XV— EFF (@EFF) November 19, 2014
"We are disappointed that the Senate has failed to advance the US Freedom Act, a good start for bipartisan surveillance reform that should have passed the Senate," it said.
"The Senate still has the remainder of the current legislative session to pass the US Freedom Act. We continue to urge the Senate to do so and only support amendments that will make it stronger.
"We strongly oppose any amendment that would water down the strong privacy, special advocate, and transparency provisions of the bill."
This may also come as a disappointment to AOL, Apple, Dropbox, Microsoft, Evernote, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yahoo, the 10 firms that make up the Reform Government Surveillance organisation.
In the run up to the vote the tech titans said that the passing of the Act would be a welcome and official addition to their own plans to increase transparency in surveillance reporting.
"The Senate has an opportunity this week to vote on the Act. We urge you to pass the bill, which protects national security and reaffirms America's commitment to the freedoms we all cherish," they said.
"The legislation prevents the bulk collection of internet metadata under various authorities. The bill also allows for transparency about government demands for user information from technology companies and [ensures] that the appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms are in place."
Pressure group Demand Progress said that it will continue to ask the government to release its surveillance grasp, despite the failure of the vote, which it already felt was weak.
"While we believed that the US Freedom Act was not in itself sufficient, we hoped to see greater protections added in the amendment process, including an end to the warrantless ‘backdoor' search loophole and measures to further limit bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act," said David Segal, executive director at Demand Progress.
"Now that NSA surveillance reform appears all but dead this session, Demand Progress will turn its attention to 2015.
"We will continue to fight for reform in Congress that adequately reins in the NSA's troubling mass surveillance programmes, and we will rally to defeat the provisions of the Patriot Act that sunset in June." µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score