Rand Paul Sues Obama, NSA Over Surveillance of Americans' Phones

Image: Rand Paul Sues Obama, NSA Over Surveillance of Americans' Phones

Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 01:27 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he has filed his much anticipated class-action lawsuit against President Barack Obama and the National Security Agency over its massive collection of data on millions of unsuspecting Americans.

"There's a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records are being taken without suspicion, without a judge's warrant, and without individualization," Paul said outside the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Flanking Paul were tea party favorites Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia, and Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, Politico reports.

Cuccinelli, who unsuccessfully ran as the Republican candidate for governor, is serving as lead counsel for the lawsuit.

Kibbe said his group became involved "on behalf of our community of 6 million citizens nationwide, along with any American who has a phone. If you use a phone, you should care about this case."

Paul, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, filed suit as a private citizen and is hoping the case will end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I am filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama because he has publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the Fourth Amendment," a statement from Paul's political action committee asserted.

"The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants."

The Hill notes it's the first time Paul has mentioned the president as a defendant.

Besides Obama and the NSA, the lawsuit names James Clapper, director of national intelligence; Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the NSA; and FBI chief James Comey.

Paul has been a frequent critic of the NSA's trolling for metadata across the country and has conducted a drive to sign up 10 million participants in the class-action lawsuit through his campaign website and his political action committee.

Other cases challenging the spy agency's information collection include that of legal activist Larry Klayman.

Politico reports that Paul initially directed potential class-action signatories to websites including RandPAC.com and to his Facebook page, which sent visitors to RandPaul2016.com. Signing up added visitors to his campaign's email lists.

Paul is also is pushing Defendthe4th.com, a reference to the Fourth Amendment, according to Politico.

The suit criticizes the "mass, suspicionless, non-particularized collection, storage, retention, and search of telephone metadata."

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