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House OKs bill that eyes Russia’s alleged covert campaigns

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed an intelligence policy bill Wednesday that bolsters efforts against Russia’s alleged covert influence campaigns in the United States and elsewhere, and seeks to strengthen congressional oversight of America’s spy agencies.

The bipartisan bill addresses national security threats, the U.S. intelligence community’s activities and congressional oversite duties. It includes a classified annex that hasn’t been made public. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation, possibly this week.

The measure funds efforts to foil attacks and deny terrorists haven in Iraq, Syria, North Africa and other places in the world. It supports U.S. counterintelligence programs that address adversaries’ threats in cyberspace and outer space, and at sea.

It also updates whistleblowing procedures in the intelligence community. And it requires a declassification review of intelligence reports on the past militant activities of detainees transferred out of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Monitoring would be strengthened over the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent agency set up after 9/11 to make sure the federal government’s efforts to prevent terrorism balance with protecting privacy and civil liberties.?

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