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Agency Web Data Purchases Need Watchdog Probes, Senator Says (1)

Sept. 21, 2022, 8:10 PMUpdated: Sept. 21, 2022, 9:49 PM

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is urging government watchdogs for the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Department, and Justice Department to investigate the agencies’ purchase of data on Americans’ web browsing.

The Pentagon so far has “frustrated” his efforts to probe and shed light on these data purchases, Wyden said in a Wednesday letter to the agencies’ inspectors general. He’s concerned that buying information from data brokers bypasses constitutional hurdles for search warrants.

Government contracting records and accounts from a whistleblower who contacted the senator’s office indicate that federal agencies are purchasing access to information such as email data and data ...