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Apple, other tech companies condemn warrantless browser searches

A coalition of tech companies, including a group that represents Apple, is calling on Congress to protect user browser history from warrantless searches.

In May, an amendment to the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act that would require the Justice Department to obtain a warrant before searching someone's browsing and search histories failed in the U.S. Senate by one vote. Now, as the U.S. House of Representatives considers the act, tech companies are asking House leaders to add those protections to the bill.

On Friday, Mozilla, Reddit and Twitter penned a letter to House leaders urging them to explicitly prohibit warrantless collection of internet search and browsing data.

In addition to the entities named above, advocacy group Reform Government Surveillance signed on to the letter. The group represents major tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

A group of more than 50 civil liberties organizations also signed a letter on May 18 to House leaders to adopt warrantless search protections.

The USA Freedom Reauthorization Act would reauthorize key surveillance laws in the U.S., including some that date back to the USA Patriot Act in 2001.