Costs Advances Disallowing Government from Circumventing 4th Change

Your Home Judiciary Committee on Wednesday advanced legislation that would disallow the federal government from preventing the 4th Modification by purchasing Americans’ private information without a warrant.

The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act advanced out of committee with 30 votes in favor, no lawmakers against, and only one member who voted “present.”

“The sale and purchase of Americans’ information without judicial oversight need to end,” Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) stated in a declaration after the vote.

He continued:

I’m happy to work with my associates to advance a bipartisan measure that safeguards the right to privacy. Under no scenario should the government have the ability to utilize data personal privacy loopholes to bypass the Fourth Modification and spy on American residents.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) stated in a declaration:

The Constitution explicitly secures Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. Rep. Davidson’s costs will help protect Americans’ private info, including personal data, from federal government overreach in the brand-new digital age, and the Judiciary Committee was happy to enact support of it today.

The legislation’s advancement out of committee marks the latest bipartisan triumph to secure Americans’ privacy.

Reps. Davidson, Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ken Dollar (R-CO), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Sara Jacobs (D-CA) introduced the Fourth Modification Is Not For Sale Act on Tuesday.

The legislation, according to a press release from Davidson’s office:

  • Needs the federal government to get a court order to require information brokers to reveal information– the exact same kind of court order required to oblige information from tech and telephone company.
  • Stops police and intelligence agencies buying information on people in the U.S. and about Americans abroad, if the data was obtained from a user’s account or device, or via deceptiveness, hacking, infractions of a contract, privacy policy, or terms of service. As such, this bill prevents the federal government from purchasing data from Clearview.AI.
  • Extends existing privacy laws to companies that own information cables & cell towers.
  • Closes loopholes that permit the intelligence community to buy or otherwise get metadata about Americans’ international calls, texts and emails to family and friends abroad, and get records about their web browsing of foreign sites– info that would generally require a court order to compel.
  • Removes the Attorney General’s authority to give civil immunity to companies and other third parties for support with surveillance not needed or permitted by statute. Companies maintain resistance for surveillance help ordered by a court.

Biggs stated the costs would disallow federal firms from exploiting a loophole to get info they would otherwise need to obtain a search warrant to gain access to. The Arizona Republican politician noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paid $420,000 to buy place information during the coronavirus pandemic to figure out if Americans were complying with social distancing laws.

Enjoy– Rep. Andy Biggs: CDC Purchased $420k Worth of Data to Surveil Americans Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) applauded Lofgren’s questioning of FBI Director Christopher Wray, asking if it was a run-around of the 4th Change. Gaetz kept in mind that Wray said in reaction to Lofgren that the answer is made complex.

Jayapal stated that this practice is “outrageous,” “inappropriate,” and “harmful.” She said the declassified report from the Workplace of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) discovered that the information gotten from these practices could lead to “blackmail, stalking, and public shaming.”

Watch: Pramila Jayapal Hounds FBI over FISA Practices, Buying Private American Data as Run-Around of the fourth Change


Lofgren described that the expense is just part of the personal privacy battle to control Area 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA), a law that will end at the end of the year. She noted that Wray and the FBI never ever followed up with committee legislators about if this practice goes around the 4th Modification.

Jordan concurred with Lofrgren, saying that Area 702 “needs to be significantly altered.”

Sean Vitka, the policy counsel for Demand Development, said that Jordan and Lofgren’s focus on this legislation being part of the bigger 702 fight will assist change the “course of the most significant fight over warrantless monitoring in generations!”

He also cheered Davidson and Jacobs, who led the fight to close the Data Broker Loophole at the Pentagon.

This is the current triumph for privacy-centric Republicans and Democrats. Your home-passed National Defense Permission Act (NDAA) consisted of Davidson’s change that would bar the Pentagon from buying Americans’ information.

Watch: GOP Rep. Calls to Pass Modification that Bans Pentagon from Preventing Fourth Modification

U.S. House of Representatives

Sean Moran is a policy press reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

About the author

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: