A.B. 793, a bill authored by Assemblymember Mia Bonta to protect people seeking abortion and gender-affirming care from dragnet-style digital surveillance, has passed two key committees in the California Assembly.

EFF is a proud co-sponsor of A.B. 793, along with ACLU California Action and If/When/How. The bill targets a type of dragnet surveillance that can compel tech companies to search their records and reveal the identities of people who have driven down a certain street or looked up particular keywords online. These demands, known as “reverse demands”, “geofence warrants,” or “keyword warrants,” enable law enforcement in states across the country to request the names and identities of people whose digital data shows they’ve (for example) spent time near a California abortion clinic or searched for information about gender-affirming care online. EFF has long opposed the use of these unconstitutional warrants; following the Dobbs decision and an increase in laws criminalizing gender-affirming case, they pose an even greater threat. 

So far, California lawmakers seem to understand these dangers. The bill passed on a bipartisan vote out of the Assembly Public Safety committee on April 11. Last week, it also passed the Assembly Judiciary committee.

More than 50 civil liberties, reproductive justice, healthcare equity, and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups form the support coalition on the bill, including NARAL Pro-Choice California, Equality California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and the American Nurses Association/California. The bill is now headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

If you're a Californian who'd like to express your support for protecting the privacy of vulnerable people seeking healthcare—and particularly if you live in the district of Assembly Appropriations Chair Chris Holden, northeast of Los Angeles—please speak up for this bill.

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