Saturday, January 4, 2014

Global Impact: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Sues Obama Administration Over NSA Global Overreach Monitoring Program

According to Fox News and The Daily Mail, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is spearheading a class action lawsuit against the Obama Administration over NSA's global spy programs.

The lawsuit’s announcement comes only hours after the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court renewed the government’s permission Friday (December 3) to collect bulk telephone metadata.

Paul claimed that several hundred thousand people have already signed up for the suit that he hopes will be reviewed by the US Supreme Court, perhaps an inevitability after courts have issued differing District Court rulings on the constitutionality of the program.

The Senator told Fox News that applying a single warrant to millions of people is unconstitutional and that questions of constitutionality should not be decided by the secretive FISA court.

"No you can’t have our records without our permission or without a warrant specific to an individual," Paul emphasized.

COMMENT: The government quietly announced in a Friday afternoon statement from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s office that the surveillance program had been renewed.

The statement also included defense of the spy program’s legality, perhaps in an attempt to head off Senator Paul’s lawsuit.

Citing the rulings of judges in US District Courts in the Southern Districts of both California and New York, as well as 16 FISA court judges on 36 occasions, the Federal government claimed the program is lawful.

Paul disagrees, saying that Americans should not have to trade their Fourth Amendment rights in for protection against terrorism.

 We think we can have security that we can defend against terrorism, but that doesn’t mean that every individual American has to give up their privacy,’ he said.

Paul may have a case after US District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled last month in Washington, DC, that the program was unconstitutional, and ordered the removal of the records of two individuals.

"I am not convinced at this point in the litigation that the NSA’s database has ever truly served the purpose of rapidly identifying terrorists in time-sensitive investigations,' Judge Leon wrote in his ruling, according to NBC NEWS.