Sending Office: Honorable Joaquin Castro
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Dear Colleague:

Join us in helping protect our diplomats serving abroad by cosponsoring H.R. 4989, the
Protecting Diplomats from Surveillance Through Consumer Devices Act.

As you may have
, the recent public release of GPS tracking data from the American fitness company Strava revealed highly sensitive data on U.S. activities abroad, such as military base locations, jogging paths of personnel located at these bases and, in many cases,
also identifies paths with individual accounts. This data was collected from wearable electronic devices such as Fitbits, and other technologies, and presents a glaring security vulnerability, allowing our adversaries to exploit these technologies and data
to undermine our interests, putting our personnel serving abroad at extreme risk.  While the issue has most seriously affected U.S. military installations, in lieu of a policy on the use of these devices, State Department personnel remain at risk as well.

As such, H.R. 4989 requires the Department of State to establish and disseminate a policy on the use of location-tracking consumer devices by diplomats and other employees at U.S. embassies and consular facilities outside the United States.

This is a commonsense step to ensure we are doing all we can to protect our diplomatic personnel serving our nation abroad.  Our enemies and adversaries work around the clock to undermine our interests. We should not make it any easier for them.

If you would like to cosponsor this bill or have questions, please contact Sid Ravishankar ( in Mr. Castro’s office, or Brandon Batch (
in Chairman McCaul’s office.




Joaquin Castro                                                                                                Michael T. McCaul

Member of Congress                                                                                      Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Intelligence

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