Leaders in the US House of Representatives have sent a letter to US law enforcement agencies to probe their purchases of private data sets to avoid warrant requirements.
According to Cyberscoop, the letter follows a House Judiciary hearing last month where witnesses testified about the rampant use of private databases by federal agencies in law enforcement investigations.
The letter – authored by House Judiciary Committee chair Jerrod Nadler (D-NY) and House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) – said, “Rather than focusing on particular suspects, data policing tools are dragnets, sifting through all of our data.
“Recent investigative reports indicate that many law enforcement agencies—including yours—have purchased data or licenses through relationships with data brokers, instead of obtaining it through statutory authorities, court order, or legal process.”
While the full extent of the use of data brokers by federal law enforcement is unknown, public records and reporting show that federal agencies have spent millions on contracts with massive data brokers.
The letter said, “While law enforcement investigations necessitate some searches, improper government acquisition of this data can thwart statutory and constitutional protections designed to protect Americans’ due process rights.”
Cyberscoop highlighted that the documents requested by the committees could provide a potentially an ‘enormous trove of documents’ providing an unprecedented look on the use of digital dragnets.
Copyright © 2022 FinTech Global