PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has requested an investigation into the “warrantless purchase and use of American’s web browsing records, based on evidence in public records and from a government whistleblower.”
In a letter to three Inspectors General for the departments of Homeland Security, Defense and Justice, Wyden disclosed that public contracting records and a Defense Department whistleblower revealed more information on the federal internet record purchases.
The Defense Department formerly denied Wyden access to public answers about whether it purchases browsing records.
Despite this, government contracts that are publicly-accessible determine that federal agencies such as the Army, FBI and U.S. Cyber Command have purchased access to internet metadata.
According to public records, the U.S. Secret Service has contracts with the same data broker as well.
The government whistleblower claimed that the Navy’s Naval Criminal Investigative Service purchases access to data, including Netflow records that show what servers internet users connect to. This data can also expose the specific sites that users browse on the web.
“I request that your offices investigate the warrantless purchase and use of Americans’ internet browsing records by the agencies under your jurisdictions,” Wyden said in his letter. “Your independent oversight must ensure that the government’s surveillance activities are consistent with the Supreme Court’s Carpenter decision and safeguard Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.”