The House Judiciary Committee today passed the NDO Fairness Act by unanimous voice vote, clearing this bill for a vote on the House floor next week.
The Non-Disclosure Order (NDO) Fairness Act would place restrictions on the government’s current unlimited ability to impose gag orders on telecom and digital companies, keeping them from informing their customers that their sensitive, personal information has been surveilled. As a result, thousands of Americans – who are not suspected of any wrongdoing – never learn that communications about their health, financial transactions and personal relations have been reviewed by the government.
“We are grateful to Rep. Scott Fitzgerald and Ranking Member Jerry Nadler for working to close a privacy loophole that has evolved into a serious encroachment of Americans’ constitutional rights,” said Bob Goodlatte, PPSA Senior Policy Advisor and former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “All the Members of the Judiciary Committee deserve our gratitude for propelling the NDO Fairness Act along to floor of the House.”
Goodlatte noted that the NDO Fairness Act passed the House by voice vote in June 2022, only to languish in the Senate.
The bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee today directs courts to more heavily scrutinize gag order requests. It sets a time limit on these gag orders, requires notice to be given to customers soon after the expiration of the order, and gives Americans standing to contest a gag order in court.
“This bill is well thought out, balancing the Fourth Amendment and privacy needs of Americans against the need to protect the judicial process and public safety,” Goodlatte said. “That is why this is such a popular bill enjoying such broad, bipartisan support. We hope the full House will swiftly pass this bill and give it new momentum in the Senate.”