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Senate narrowly rejects plan to require a warrant for Americans’ browsing data

May 13, 2020

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Senators have narrowly rejected a bipartisan amendment that would have required the government first obtain a warrant before accessing Americans’ web browsing data.

The amendment brought by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT) — just seven lines in length — would have forced the government to first establish probable cause — or reasonable suspicion of a crime — to obtain the warrant. That’s a far higher bar than what’s required under existing law, which under the Patriot Act permits the bulk collection of Americans’ browsing records.

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