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Rand Paul: NSA Spying Won't Fundamentally Change

Image: Rand Paul: NSA Spying Won't Fundamentally Change

By Wanda Carruthers   |  

President Barack Obama's reforms won't truly change the National Security Agency's spying program, Sen. Rand Paul told CNN's "Newsroom" after the president announced new NSA guidelines Friday.

Obama's "not going to fundamentally change any of this," Paul said. "I didn't hear any lessening of the spying on Americans, or the collecting [of] records of Americans."

President Obama detailed limited guidelines for the NSA data collection program in his speech, including how the government would store the massive amounts of information it gathers on Americans.

Paul argued that the issue is not "who holds" the information, but rather the "extra collection of information."

Paul said he felt data collection was necessary if there was probable cause of illegal activity, but argued mass collection of data was a violation of privacy.

"Many of us think it's an invasion of our privacy to have our text messages collected, our emails collected, our phone records collected, and, likely, our credit card statements collected. We think that's an invasion of privacy — simply the collection," Paul said.

In his speech, Obama referred to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who first revealed the government's massive data collection program. Paul said that while he believed Snowden had broken the law, public discussion about the program would not be taking place if not for Snowden's actions.

"I don't think we'd be here. And I think there'd absolutely be no reforms had there not been the releases by Edward Snowden," he said.

Paul explained he had a "fundamental problem" with the secrecy of the FISA court, which authorizes warrants for the NSA program. But ultimately, he predicted the issue was "going to have to be decided by the Supreme Court."

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President Barack Obama's reforms won't truly change the National Security Agency's spying program, Sen. Rand Paul told CNN's "Newsroom" after the president announced new NSA guidelines Friday.
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