PPSA Freedom of Information Act Request: Has the Government Purchased Data to Spy on Members of Congress?
This week the Project for Privacy and Surveillance Accountability filed Freedom of Information requests with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other intelligence agencies asking for records concerning the possible purchases of information on the communications of current and former Members of Congress who have served on the U.S. House and Senate judiciary committees.
This action is inspired by two intersecting events recently brought to light. One is the revelation that two Members of Congress, their staff and family members, were the targets of surveillance efforts by the Trump Administration, which seized their metadata from Apple. The other is the heightened scrutiny from Sen. Ron Wyden of government agencies’ practice of getting around the need for warrants by simply purchasing metadata from data brokers.
The list of representatives in the request include Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, ranking member Jim Jordan, Sen. Dick Durbin and ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley. The whole list, drawn from both houses, include: