WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee introduced a bill Tuesday to halt the federal government’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone and Internet information.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said that, if enacted, the bill “would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since Congress passed the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago.”

Leahy’s USA Freedom Act 2014 would halt bulk data collection authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, a law enacted during George W. Bush’s presidency after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, by requiring the government to narrowly limit the scope of its search.

Broad searches – either through a particular service provider or by a broad geographic region or ZIP code – would be stopped, Leahy said in an outline of the bill. The government wouldn’t be able to collect all information relating to a particular service provider or broad geographic region.

The measure requires the government to report on the number of individuals whose information has been collected, provide a count of how many of those individuals are American, and give the number of searches run on Americans in certain databases.

“This is a debate about Americans’ fundamental relationship with their government, about whether our government would have the power to create massive databases of information about its citizens or whether we are in control of our own government, not the other way around,” Leahy said Tuesday on the Senate floor.