The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Maria Langholz,

Statement on NSA Buying Americans’ Internet Data Without Warrants

The New York Times has just revealed that the NSA is buying Americans' internet records without court orders. The news comes as the House of Representatives debates closing the "data broker loophole," which government agencies increasingly use to avoid court order requirements, in the context of a roiling fight over warrantless surveillance powers set to expire in April.

In response to this reporting from the New York Times, Demand Progress Policy Director Sean Vitka issued the following statement:

"Not only is it outrageous that the NSA is buying Americans' browsing records without court orders—including 'wholly domestic' records—but intelligence officials fought to keep this fact hidden from the public even as Congress is debating surveillance reforms, specifically including the data broker loophole.

"Congress must not reauthorize warrantless surveillance powers like Section 702 of FISA without reforms to stop this massive, systemic invasion of Americans' privacy. Instead, they should swiftly pass the Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act to close the data broker loophole.”

This development comes amid an ongoing, months-long national debate over warrantless surveillance, with the House Judiciary Committee twice passing legislation to prohibit warrantless data broker sales to government agencies on overwhelming, bipartisan bases. Congress is expected to vote on warrantless surveillance practices by April 19 due to the scheduled expiration of a controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authority known as Section 702.

Demand Progress amplifies the voice of the people -- and wields it to make government accountable and contest concentrated corporate power. Our mission is to protect the democratic character of the internet -- and wield it to contest concentrated corporate power and hold government accountable.