Tags: NSA/Surveillance | Rand Paul | rand paul | patriot act | nsa | surveillance | metadata

Rand Paul Taking No Break in Fight Against Patriot Act

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:43 PM

During appearances Tuesday to promote his just released book "Taking a Stand, Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America," Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul touted his position that the government practice of the bulk collection of metadata violates the Fourth Amendment.

"Our founding fathers thought it was very important that warrants have an individual's name on it — that you couldn't have a warrant that said Verizon on it and collect all the records of all the people in America through one single warrant," Paul said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

"So I think I'm right in line with what the founders would have fought for and I'm proud of the fight. I think there will always be naysayers and people who want to snatch at you for different reasons."

Paul is leading the charge to do away with controversial provisions of the Patriot Act — disclosed by National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden — that allow for the bulk collection of things like telephone records.

To protect individuals' rights, warrants "need to be specific … need to have suspicion, and they need to have an individual's name on it," Paul told CBS.

He argued that in addition to fishing expedition searches being unconstitutional, they don’t work. To bolster his argument he referenced a Justice Department report released last week that found bulk data collection hasn’t solved a single case.

During a stop at "Fox and Friends," Paul conceded that there is scant evidence that the information collected has been abused, but maintained that the practice itself is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

He also stressed that he is a "defender of the Bill of Rights" and that the ability to dissent is a basic American right. There's a tremendous potential for abuse with the collection of bulk data, Paul told Fox.

"We did it to the Japanese-Americans in World War II, we did it to civil rights protesters in the '60s and the Vietnam War protesters — we just sort of grabbed them up and started looking at behavior we didn’t like," he said. "So the right to dissent in a free country is very important, and some say this has a chilling effect on the right to dissent.”

For  10½ hours last week, Paul decried the National Security Agency’s metadata collection practices. He insists his speech was a filibuster, though CNN reports that technically it was not "because intricate Senate rules required him to stop talking by early Thursday afternoon for an unrelated vote."

At midnight on June 1, the NSA’s bulk data collection program expires.

While the House has approved a bill to reform the law, the Senate is sharply divided. The upper chamber disagrees about whether provisions of the Patriot Act that allow for roving wiretaps, searches of business records, and conducting surveillance of lone wolves — people suspected of terrorist-related activities who are not linked to known terrorist groups — should be allowed to continue.

Many lawmakers from both parties want to see reforms to the law, while others, including Paul, think it violates the Constitution and should be tossed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was unable to strike a deal before the recess.

President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act into law shortly after 9/11. In 2011, President Barack Obama extended the law, and that extension is now expiring.

Watch the video here.

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During appearances Tuesday to promote his new book, Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul touted his position that the government practice of the bulk collection of metadata violates the Fourth Amendment.
rand paul, patriot act, nsa, surveillance, metadata
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2015-43-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:43 PM
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