Key House lawmakers have struck a deal on an amendment that would block law enforcement from accessing Americans’ web browsing history without a warrant.The amendment from Reps. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenBottom line This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House’s proxy voting Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel MORE (D-Calif.) and Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonThis week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House’s proxy voting Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel House to consider amendment blocking warrantless web browsing surveillance MORE (R-Ohio) to legislation reauthorizing surveillance programs set to be voted on this week was negotiated over the three-day Memorial Day weekend after it was confirmed Friday that leadership would allow it to be considered.Lofgren said in a statement Tuesday that after “extensive bicameral, bipartisan deliberations, there will be a vote to include a final significant reform to Section 215 [of the USA Patriot Act] that protects Americans’ civil liberties.” “For too long, Americans’ most private information has been compromised by vague laws and lax privacy protections,” Davidson, the amendment’s Republican co-sponsor, said in a statement to The Hill. “With the vote on the Lofgren-Davidson Amendment to FISA reform this week, we take an important step toward restoring Americans’ long-neglected Fourth Amendment rights,” he added. “Protecting Americans’ internet browser searches from warrantless surveillance is a modest, though important first step.”The version of the amendment unveiled Tuesday would require a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to be obtained before gathering internet activity if the government is not sure if the subject is a U.S. person but might be, according to Lofgren’s office. The text of the amendment is not yet available.It would also compel the government to guarantee that no U.S. person’s IP addresses or identifiers would be disclosed before ordering a service provider to provide a list of everyone who has visited a particular website.If an order could result in a U.S. person’s web browsing or search history, the government would be required to obtain a warrant narrowly focused on the subject of the warrant.The amendment is similar to the one brought by Sens. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel Memorial Day weekend deals latest economic blow to travel industry MORE (R-Mont.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel House to consider amendment blocking warrantless web browsing surveillance COVID-19 increases importance of implementing reforms to organ donation system MORE (D-Ore.) during debate in the Senate on reauthorizing the USA Freedom Act.That effort fell just one vote short of the 60-vote threshold needed to pass. Several senators who were expected to vote in favor were not present for the session.The version of the Senate bill without the Daines-Wyden amendment was approved 80-16 earlier this month, sending it back to the House.Wyden praised the Lofgren-Davidson amendment Tuesday.”The language announced today is clear: the government cannot collect records that include the web browsing or internet searches of U.S. persons pursuant to Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act,” the Oregon senator said in a memo.”As the overwhelming bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate has demonstrated, Americans do not want the government looking at the websites they visit, the YouTube videos they watch and the internet searches they conduct without a warrant.”The amendment is crucially supported by Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGrenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts Democrats call for probe into ouster of State Dept. watchdog GOP lawmakers say they don’t want to put Steve King back on committees MORE (D-Calif.).The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and supporters of the amendment — including Lofgren and Wyden — were locked in negotiations over the language of the amendment all weekend.A source familiar with those negotiations told The Hill that earlier versions of the text offered by the California lawmaker included a loophole that would allow significant collection of American web browsing data to continue.Those versions would not require a warrant if it was not known that an American was the sole user of an IP address, according to the source, essentially shifting presumption toward not needing a warrant.That could result in Americans using public Wi-Fi networks or virtual private networks (VPNs) having their information gathered without a warrant.A spokesperson for Schiff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The amendment, as well as the reauthorization of surveillance programs, could be voted on as early as this week.If the amendment is successfully attached, the bill would return to the Senate for consideration.–This report was updated at 2:05 p.m.
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