Washington, DC — U.S. Representatives Warren Davidson (R-OH), 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) introduced the bipartisan Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act. This legislation stops the federal government from circumventing the 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 4th Amendment protects the right to privacy, and it is not for sale,” said Rep. Warren Davidson. “Our bipartisan legislation creates needed reform by prohibiting the government from purchasing Americans’ data without judicial oversight. Un-Constitutional mass government surveillance must end.”

“It is both sensible and necessary to close the data broker loophole that allows the government to buy some of our most sensitive personal data – like location records. In addition to closing this loophole, our bipartisan, bicameral Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act would crucially prevent intelligence agencies from using private data purchases and other means to circumvent the legal regime that Congress has put in place to prevent mass surveillance of Americans. Our digital data opens a window into the most sensitive areas of our private life, and this bill would be a major step forward in curbing surveillance abuse and protecting Americans' civil liberties,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren.

"The principle here is simple: the government should not be allowed to purchase its way around the rules Congress has enacted to protect the privacy of American citizens. There is no end run around the Fourth Amendment. I am proud to reintroduce this bill, and I look forward to examining the legislation in the House Judiciary in the coming months,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler.

“The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable search or seizure and it is critical that we not let the government side step that right by purchasing data,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal. “Sensitive data that can cover anything from Americans’ location data, internet activity, or health care data must be protected. This is a civil rights issue and it’s time to ban this practice.”

"For years, the federal government has inappropriately collected and used Americans’ private information. Federal agencies, including FBI, IRS, DEA, DHS, and CDC, are exploiting legal loopholes to purchase the location data of American citizens, instead of obtaining a warrant. The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from unreasonable surveillance by the federal government, and no government entity should be allowed to skirt these protections. This commonsense bill will close a loophole in the law that currently allows the government to amass endless amounts of data on law-abiding Americans without any oversight. I am grateful to my colleagues for leading this effort and look forward to its passage in the House,” said Rep. Andy Biggs.

“The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures by government,” said Rep. Ken Buck. “This includes buying their private telecommunications data. This necessary bill would close existing loopholes and require government agencies obtain a warrant before buying Americans’ private cell phone data. Congress must stop government’s gross abuse of our citizens’ privacy rights.”

“Right now, law enforcement and intelligence agencies can buy our data from data brokers instead of getting a warrant, court order, or subpoena,” said Rep. Sara Jacobs. “Our own government should never be able to exploit this loophole and make an end run around our 4th Amendment rights. That’s why I’m so proud to co-lead the bipartisan 4th Amendment Is Not for Sale Act so we can close this loophole, ensure our data privacy, and uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.”

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.