Washington, DC — Today, the bipartisan Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act introduced by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) passed through the House Judiciary Committee. This legislation stops the federal government from circumventing Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to privacy by closing loopholes that allow the government to purchase Americans’ data from big tech companies without a search warrant.

“The sale and purchase of Americans’ data without judicial oversight must end,” said Rep. Warren Davidson. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues to advance a bipartisan measure that protects the right to privacy. Under no circumstance should the government have the ability to use data privacy loopholes to bypass the Fourth Amendment and spy on American citizens.”

“The Constitution explicitly protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. Rep. Davidson's bill will help defend Americans' private information, including personal data, from federal government overreach in the new digital age, and the Judiciary Committee was proud to vote in support of it today,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ken Buck (R-CO), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Sara Jacobs (D-CA) cosponsored the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act. Watch the full Judiciary Committee markup here.

This legislation:

  • Requires the government to get a court order to force data brokers to disclose data — the same kind of court order needed to compel data from tech and phone companies.
  • Stops law enforcement and intelligence agencies buying data on people in the U.S. and about Americans abroad, if the data was obtained from a user’s account or device, or via deception, hacking, violations of a contract, privacy policy, or terms of service. As such, this bill prevents the government from buying data from Clearview.AI.
  • Extends existing privacy laws to firms that own data cables & cell towers.
  • Closes loopholes that permit the intelligence community to buy or otherwise acquire metadata about Americans’ international calls, texts and emails to family and friends abroad, and obtain records about their web browsing of foreign websites — information that would normally require a court order to compel.
  • Takes away the Attorney General’s authority to grant civil immunity to providers and other third parties for assistance with surveillance not required or permitted by statute. Providers retain immunity for surveillance assistance ordered by a court.