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Apr 22, 2021

Tester Leads Bipartisan Bill to End Warrantless Seizure of Americans’ Personal Data

Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act would protect Montanans’ Constitutional right to privacy, close loopholes allowing law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access personal data without a warrant

U.S. Senator Jon Tester is leading a bipartisan push to protect Montanans'-and all Americans'- Constitutional right to privacy by closing loopholes that allows the government to circumvent the Fourth Amendment by buying data from third-party data brokers, using improperly obtained data for facial recognition, and collecting information about Americans' web browsing without a warrant.

"Montanans expect their privacy to be protected, but right now law enforcement and intelligence agencies can simply ignore the Bill of Rights and use loopholes to avoid having to get a warrant," Tester said. "This bill closes those loopholes-which fly in the face of the Fourth Amendment and the protection it guarantees against intrusion into our personal lives-and ensures Montanans can rest easy knowing their Constitutional rights won't be violated."

Tester's Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act would protect personal privacy right by:

  • Requiring law enforcement and intelligence agencies to get a warrant before obtaining Americans' cell phones, GPS location, and other personal information from third-party data brokers. Currently those agencies must obtain a warrant before accessing that same data from cell phone providers or tech companies, but a loophole in the law allows it to be purchased from data brokers without a warrant.
  • Preventing federal, state, and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies from buying or obtaining facial recognition data on people in the U.S. and Americans abroad if the data was improperly obtained through a user's account or device, or by deception, hacking, violations of a contract, privacy policy, or terms of service - a practice used by firms like the facial recognition service Clearview AI.
  • Closing a loophole that allows intelligence agencies to buy or otherwise acquire data about Americans' international calls, texts and emails to family and friends abroad, and obtain records about their web browsing of foreign websites without a warrant.

Tester is a consistent and staunch supporter of Montanan's right to privacy. He has continually condemned the use of mass and warrantless government surveillance, and is one of only a handful of Senators that has consistently voted against reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). He has also taken a stand against the unregulated online data collection by private companies and pushed for more transparency for consumers.

Tester's bipartisan bill is supported by a diverse coalition of advocates including Access Now, Americans for Prosperity, Center for Democracy & Technology, Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, Demand Progress, Due Process Institute, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Freedom of the Press Foundation, FreedomWorks, Free Press Action, MediaJustice, Mozilla, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, PEN America, Project on Government Oversight, Public Citizen, Public Knowledge, and Restore the Fourth.

The text of Tester's Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act is available HERE.

 

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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