The Senate has yet to decide whether to approve a bill to give federal judges more powers to issue warrants for people’s cell phone records and to require companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to turn over user data to the government.
The vote is set for Monday, and the House is expected to vote on it next week.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa), would give judges more power to issue warrantless warrants and would require that the information be obtained “in a reasonable and articulable” manner.
It also would require companies to turn to federal authorities for user data if it’s relevant to a criminal investigation.
The Judiciary Committee will meet to consider Paul’s bill, which is the first major overhaul of the Fourth Amendment since the landmark Supreme Court ruling in the landmark Citizens United case in 2010.
The bill would expand on a 1986 law that gives judges broad discretion in issuing warrants for phone records, and it would make it harder for people to challenge the issuance of a warrant by a judge.
The court ruled in Citizens United that the government cannot force people to give up their privacy in exchange for the government obtaining their phone records.
In recent years, the court has made clear that it is not satisfied with the law that Congress enacted in 1978.
It said in a recent ruling that the Fourth is not a free speech or privacy right.
In addition, the bill would require technology companies to disclose user data in a way that protects the privacy of their users.
The legislation would require a judge to order the disclosure of the information if the data “is relevant to the enforcement of a criminal or civil law.”
A majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee members voted in favor of the bill.
The Senate also approved Paul’s amendment to the bill requiring technology companies and internet service providers to notify law enforcement if their services were used to facilitate terrorism.
Paul, who has argued that the data requests are too broad, said in the speech announcing his support that he supports the legislation because “there is no more important cause of liberty and security than the protection of the privacy and civil liberties of our people.”
Paul said in his speech that he has been approached by constituents who have contacted him and said they were “in shock” about the bill and that they feared for their safety.
He said he will vote in favor if the bill is sent to the Senate floor.
The White House has signaled that it may veto the bill, and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) said earlier this week that he wants the Senate to reconsider the legislation and has said that it will be difficult to pass.