FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Omaha, Nebraska.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have been asked to provide details of alleged purchases of Americans' personal data by two top Democrats in the House of Representatives. The seven federal agencies are accused of sidestepping warrant requirements in obtaining private data.

In a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland and six other agency heads, Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Bennie Thompson said that recent reports had found many law enforcement agencies had purchased data or direct access to it

The lawmakers said that companies trading in data have been known to package and sell a range of personal information.

The congressmen said that improper government acquisition of this data can undermine statutory and constitutional protections designed to protect Americans' due process rights.

While comprehensive information on the widespread use of this practice is not available, the evidence indicates it is pervasive and that your agencies have contracts with numerous data brokers, who provide detailed information on millions of Americans.

The Department of Justice; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and the Drug Enforcement Agency are all recipients.

The request for a response was made by the end of the month.

LexisNexis is said to be used by immigration enforcement agents to track immigrants.

One data broker, LexisNexis, contracts with over 1,300 law enforcement agencies across the country.

There are few, if any, rules to prevent agencies like the FBI from buying information which it might not otherwise have legal authority to demand. The Department of Homeland Security's purchase of phone location data from marketing companies was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

According to the New York Times, Securus Technologies helped its law enforcement partners track the location of cellphones without a warrant. The data came from major telecom companies, which later pledged to control the sharing of locational data. A bounty hunter was paid $300 by a journalist to give him the coordinates of his phone.

The deputy U.S. marshal is accused of abusing the Securus service to target people he knew and their spouses.

The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act was introduced last year by Sen. Ron Wyden, a leading privacy hawk on Capitol Hill.

The bill introduced by Wyden is a newer bill that is more focused on locational data abuse. The Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act applies to any data that law enforcement would typically need a warrant for.