A group of seven internet companies are vowing to stand up for the privacy of its users this week when the United States House of Representatives considers the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020.
Mozilla, Engine, Reddit, Reform Government Surveillance, Twitter, i2Coalition, and Patreon have asked four US legislators to explicitly prohibit the warrantless collection of internet search and browsing history.
"We hope legislators will amend the bill to limit government access to internet browsing and search history without a warrant," the Firefox-maker said in a blog post.
"Too much search and browsing history still is collected and stored around the Web. We believe this data deserves strong legal protections when the government seeks access to it, but in many cases that protection is uncertain."
In a letter [PDF] to the four US House of Representatives members, the group said it privacy and security are essential to the economy, businesses, and the continued growth of the free and open internet.
"By clearly reaffirming these protections, Congress can help preserve user trust and facilitate the continued use of the internet as a powerful contributing force for our recovery," the group wrote.
The companies said search and browsing history can provide a detailed portrait of peoples' private lives, and it may reveal sensitive information such as medical conditions, religious beliefs, and personal relationships, and as such it should be protected by effective legal safeguards.