Politics

Google, Apple, and Facebook are mad as hell at the U.S. government over new spying laws

A letter to legislators demands warrants in order to access browsing data.

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Big Tech penned a letter to House leadership to add the requirement of a warrant for web browsing activity in the updated FREEDOM Act.

Demand Progress, Reddit, Mozilla, Twitter, and Patreon, as well as groups representing Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Snap, Oracle, Dropbox, and Verizon Media, signed the letter.

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The letter is in response to a failed amendment vote that attempted to close the loophole in the FREEDOM Act that law enforcement uses to spy on the public's data.

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“As leading internet businesses and organizations, we believe privacy and security are essential to our economy, our businesses, and the continued growth of the free and open internet.”

Mozilla

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“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.”

Mozilla

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Another letter from companies like DuckDuckGo and civil liberties organizations also calls for the inclusion of the failed (by one vote) Wyden-Daines amendment in the FREEDOM Act's reauthorization.

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“Given the government’s failure to disclose whether it believes it can collect [web browsing data] under Section 215 already, the bright-line rule reflected in the Wyden-Daines amendment is sorely needed.”

Demand Progress

The letter largely hinges on gaining House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi's support.

Pelosi's hesitance likely rests in the two-thirds majority suspension vote necessary to try to fold in the amendment again. This move would also put approved, positive privacy policies at risk of removal.

The alternative is another bipartisan amendment with similar language.

Gizmodo

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“With ample support for this measure secured in the Senate, the decision to seize this moment in defense of Americans’ civil liberties is exclusively in your hands.”

Demand Progress

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