Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is planning a class action suit against the Federal government to end the National Security Administration’s (NSA) broad surveillance of citizens’ phone metadata and computer habits via compulsory, court-ordered secret “agreements” with phone and computer companies.
Speaking on FOX News Sunday, Paul told Chris Wallace that he plans to enlist the Nation’s major telecommunications companies as plaintiffs, as well as millions of Americans angry at the Administration of President Barack Obama for lying about his campaign promise to end the George W. Bush White House’s expansion of big-government secrecy and intrusiveness.
“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,” said Paul. “If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington….[It] doesn’t look like a modest invasion of privacy… I have no problem if you have probable cause … but we’re talking about trolling through a billion phone records a day.”
Late last week, Paul also introduced the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 before Congress, a piece of legislation that declaring 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.”
Although Paul did not go into much detail on TV about the possible lawsuit, the plaintiff class would presumably consist of phone customers whose cellular service is handled by Verizon and other major carriers that the government has been monitoring.
It would likely also include an enormous number of Americans whose online privacy has been violated through PRISM, the NSA’s carte-blanche, secret surveillance program The Guardian exposed on Friday, after a whistle-blower shared classified documents revealing its existence, as well as the scope of its ambition.