Tech Companies Urge Congress to Protect Search and Browsing Data



Several tech companies are asking the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation that would prevent the FBI from obtaining people’s browser history without a warrant. The tech companies include: Mozilla, Reddit, Twitter, and Patreon.

Mozilla Corporation, Engine, Reddit, Inc., Reform Government Surveillance, Twitter, i2Coalition, and Patreon sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Jerry Nadler, and Ranking Member of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. From the letter:

We urge you to explicitly prohibit the warrantless collection of internet search and browsing history when you consider the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act (H.R. 6172) next week. As leading internet businesses and organizations, we believe privacy and security are essential to our economy our businesses, and the continued growth of the free and open internet. By clearly reaffirming these protections, Congress can help preserve user trust and facilitate the continued use of the internet as a powerful contributing force for our recovery.

This comes after the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment to the USA Patriot Act that would create a tougher standard for government investigators to collect web search and browsing histories of people in the states.

It was a bipartisan amendment that would have required the Department of Justice to show probable cause when requesting approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to collect the data for counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigations.


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