Tags: US | NSA | Surveillance | Rand | Paul

Sen. Paul Says He's Suing over NSA Policies

Friday, 03 Jan 2014 08:31 PM

Sen. Rand Paul said Friday night he's filing a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over the National Security Agency's far-reaching data-collection policies.

In an interview on Fox News, the Kentucky Republican said he started the effort aiming it to "apply to millions of people ... to say 'No, you can't have our records without our permission'."

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Paul said the "potential for the abuse exists" in the spy agency's massive collection of cell phone data, including data from millions of unwitting Americans.

"We now have an administration ... that has used the IRS to go after people," he told Fox News. "... we wonder if they would use the [National Security Agency] that way... Even if a president isn't going to abuse the power .... I'm concerned the president thinks he has the power."

The announcement came on the same day the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court reauthorized the NSA to haul in phone records in bulk for 90 more days.

The NSA telephone metadata program, publicly leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has been authorized 36 times over the past seven years, CNN reported.
Paul told Fox News he's collected "several hundred thousand" people who will be part of the class-action lawsuit.

"We think everybody who has a cellphone would be eligible," he said, urging people to sign up for inclusion in the legal action on his Facebook page.

"We want to overwhelm the government," he said. "We object to the government looking at our records without our permission."

Paul said he was particularly concerned about the collection of metadata that contains "private matters," including medical, health and lifestyle information.

"The government should only look at that metadata with a warrant," he argued.

Paul says the lead lawyer in the suit is Virginia's former attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli.

"We're hoping ... to take it all the way to the Supreme Court," he told Fox News.

"We want them to protect the Fourth Amendment, to protect the right of privacy... We think we can have security, defend ourselves against terrorism... without giving up our privacy."

Paul said FISA rulings ought to be subject to appeal in "a public court."

"We don't think a question of constitutionality should be decided in secret," he said.

Paul said he's concerned the Obama administration is "going to whitewash this."

"This has to be decided publicly by the Supreme Court," he said.

Paul also criticized Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who testified no collection of Americans' data was done intentionally, saying "lying to Congress is a felony."

"I frankly think it would be enlightening to have James Clapper and Snowden share a prison cell."

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Sen. Rand Paul says he's filing a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over the National Security Agency's far-reaching data-collection policies.
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2014-31-03
Friday, 03 Jan 2014 08:31 PM
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