On Friday, Apple alongside other tech companies and organizations wrote and sent a letter to both the Democratic and Republi8can house leaders calling on them to prevent the FBI from collecting web browsing data from users without a warrant. Gizmodo reports:
The letter comes as the House prepares to vote as early as next week to reauthorize three key FBI surveillance tools under the USA Freedom Act. The law, passed in 2015, enacted several privacy reforms brought on by the Edward Snowden revelations. But privacy hawks on Capitol Hill warn the re-authorization bill that is currently under consideration contains a gaping loophole that would enable the FBI to essentially scoop up the search and browser histories of U.S. citizens without a warrant.
The letter directly calls upon House Speaker Nany Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to have the House vote on an amendment that would prevent the FBI from gaining access to American’s web browsing history without getting a warrant first. The letter reads:
Search and browsing history can provide a detailed portrait of our private lives. It may reveal medical conditions, religious beliefs, and personal relationships, and it should be protected by effective legal safeguards. Some of us do not collect this information; some of us have pressed the courts to adopt a higher standard for this data; all of us believe this information should only be produced with a warrant. Congress should take this opportunity to resolve any potential ambiguity and provide strong legal protections for all search and browsing history.
Our users demand that we serve as responsible stewards of their private information, and our industry is predicated on that trust. Americans deserve to have their online searches and browsing kept private, and only available to the government pursuant to a warrant. We respectfully urge you to include the text of the Wyden/Daines amendment as part of the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Ac