Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in light of recent government spying scandals, will introduce legislation to strengthen Americans’ 4th Amendment protections against privacy intrusions.
Paul’s Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act of 2013 would extend 4th Amendment guarantees to electronic communications and require specific warrants, granted by judges, in order to obtain electronic communication information.
“In today’s high-tech world, we must ensure that all forms of communication are protected. Yet government has eroded protecting the Fourth Amendment over the past few decades, especially when applied to electronic communications and third party providers,” Paul said in a press release announcing the bill last month. “Congress has passed a variety of laws that decimate our Fourth Amendment protections. In effect, it means that Americans can only count on Fourth Amendment protections if they don’t use e-mail, cell phones, the Internet, credit cards, libraries, banks, or other forms of modern finance and communications.”
The legislation, which will be introduced when the Senate returns to session on June 7, would provide protections that could have prevented abuses such as the recently revealed secret seizure of call records of millions of Americans, without warrant or probable cause, by the National Security Agency, according to the Senator.
“The bill restores our Constitutional rights and declares that the Fourth Amendment shall not be construed to allow any agency of the United States government to search the phone records of Americans without a warrant based on probable cause,” he said.