Rand Paul: NSA spying is 'unconstitutional'

June 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sunday he'll pursue a court challenge to government monitoring of citizens' electronic communications.

A report from Britain's The Guardian last week detailed a U.S. court order requiring Verizon Business Services to give the FBI an "ongoing, daily" download of "all call detail records," including caller and recipient locations, call time and duration.

After that report was released, it was later revealed the government monitored customer information from Google Inc., Facebook Inc., Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft Corp., Paltalk instant messaging, AOL Inc., Skype broadband phone service, YouTube LLC and Apple Inc.

In an appearance on Fox News "Sunday," Paul called the monitoring unconstitutional and said he plans to launch a Supreme Court challenge.

"I'm going to be asking all the Internet providers and all of the phone companies, ask your customers to join me in a class action lawsuit. If we get 10 million Americans saying we don't want our phone records looked at then somebody will wake up and say things will change in Washington," he said.

He said monitoring billions of emails and phone calls is more than an invasion of privacy, it's a waste of time.

"You know, we have millions of audiotape hours of people and we can't go through it. They haven't gone back through 25 percent of the audio they have. They're overwhelmed in data. So, I think it's just bad police work," Paul said. "Why didn't we know the Tsarnaev boy had gone back to Chechnya? Because we're not going good police work because we're busy looking at the records of regular Americans who haven't committed any crime."

Paul said he plans to introduce the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act, restoring the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

"What I spend on my Visa each month, that's my business and where I spend it and whether I read conservative magazines, whether I subscribe to Fox News, or whether I subscribe to Yahoo or Google," he said. "What I do in my private life is my private life. If you suspect me of a crime, have probable cause."

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