ACLU Urges Senate to Join House, Prevent Government Spying on Americans without Warrant  

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By Connie Martinez

WASHINGTON, DC – The ACLU said the U.S. House approved the “Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act” recently to “ban the government from purchasing Americans’ data from data brokers that they would otherwise need a warrant to obtain,” adding the vote came days after the House OK’d “one of the most dramatic expansions of warrantless government surveillance since the Patriot Act.”

The ACLU said it’s now counting on the Senate to pass this act for the protection of Americans from the government gleaning their personal information without a warrant.

The ACLU statement asserts the “Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act” calls for the banning of government intervention from “purchasing American’s data from data brokers.” The government would have to obtain a warrant to do so, which also includes location and internet records, the statement notes.

As the ACLU statement warns, when the government wants to obtain an American’s private information such as where they live, then they are mandated by the Fourth Amendment to go to court for a warrant to do so.

Federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Defense have been “buying their way around this requirement by purchasing American’s sensitive information through common applications,” the ACLU said.

For instance, as the ACLU notes, the government could utilize an app like Tinder or the Weather Channel to buy their way around and be able to obtain an individual’s location “without users realizing it” and “without a warrant or probable cause.”

According to the ACLU, the “Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act” would counteract the bill reauthorizing Section 702 and therefore put a restriction on the government.

ACLU Senior Policy Counsel Kia Hamadanchy said, “The bipartisan passage of this bill is a flashing warning sign to the government that if it wants our data, it must get a warrant. We hope this vote puts a fire under the Senate to protect their constituents and rein in the government’s warrantless surveillance of Americans, once and for all.”

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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