BREAKING: Former House Chairmen to House Members: Protect Americans from Online Snooping and Surveillance Abuse
The Lofgren-Davidson amendment to the Patriot Act reauthorization (HR 6172) is modest, worthy and necessary. It will protect Americans from government overreach, while still granting government the authorities needed to keep our country safe.
If passed, Lofgren-Davidson will protect some of our most sensitive information – online search history and web browsing – from warrantless snooping. Any record of the sites we visit and the material we access constitutes some of our most highly personal information. That’s especially true when one adds into the mix all of the behind-the-scenes searching in which our smartphone apps engage automatically. Thus, in today’s world, a record of a person’s online searches gives the intelligence agencies a nearly-comprehensive snapshot of our entire lives, including our most personal decisions about matters of faith, medical care, politics, firearms usage, and the exercise of other constitutional rights.
If the Fourth Amendment means anything, it should protect our private information from this kind of surveillance without a probable-cause warrant. And that’s what Lofgren-Davidson will do.
The common sense underlying Lofgren-Davidson is obvious. That is why a similar amendment in the Senate attracted 59 votes in a strong show of bipartisan support.
We hope you will join with Members of both parties to make this an overwhelming vote that will help bring along the Senate and get the amended bill to President Trump’s desk for signature.
Bob Goodlatte, Former Chair
House Judiciary Committee
Member of Congress 1993-2019
Buck McKeon, Former Chair
House Armed Services Committee
Member of Congress 1993-2015
Phone: (202) 787-1060
Director of Policy
Phone: (202) 909-5824