I’m thankful that I am an independent voter. Because I am, I even find myself agreeing with Rand Paul, occasionally. It may be just a campaign speech, but I agree that the most serious scandal in our country is government spying, and the danger it creates for the American people.
On FOX News Sunday, Paul vented his outrage at the government program called ‘PRISM,’ and the confiscating of Verizon phone records.
“I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level,” Paul said.
“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,” Paul told host Chris Wallace. “If we get ten million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington.”
If the Patriot Act had been allowed to expire, removing these un-Constitutional programs would be automatic.
Paul pointed out the need for surveillance when national security agencies suspect domestic or international terrorist activities, but invading the privacy of every individual who uses a cell phone or the internet, is unnecessary and illegal.
“They are looking at a billion phone calls a day,” Paul said. “That doesn’t sound to me like a modest invasion of primary, it sounds like an extraordinary invasion of privacy.”
“I have no problem if you have probable cause, you target people who are terrorists, and you go after them,” Paul continued. “But we’re talking about trolling through billions of phone records…That is unconstitutional.”
He talked about our founding fathers and the writing of the Constitution to guarantee individual freedoms.
“This is what we objected to, and what our Founding Fathers partly fought the Revolution over,” Paul said. The founders, he said, didn’t want generalized warrants where soldiers could go house-to-house looking for things. Today, that is being done computer-to-computer, phone-to-phone without specifying who is being targeted, he said.
Paul plans to introduce the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act. Asked if he believed it could pass, he said our young people who use the internet constantly will support him. (As will older people like myself who are on the internet.)
“So much of our life now is digitalized that we have to protect it from a snooping government.”
Information gleaned from our private information could be used for purposes other than national security. The very outcome of elections could be decided by using information gathered from our Facebook or Twitter page. Records of our purchases, and website searches could be used to influence the way we spend money.
Paul remembered that the public outrage against SOPA and PIPA legislation last year were somewhat successful in pushing back the laws, and predicted that if people reacted with similar severity to the current surveillance measures, they would be successful in repealing them.
The heads of the nation’s intelligence services, the President, Lindsay Graham, and other members of Congress claim it is both legal and necessary. They’re wrong on both counts, and I’m certain the majority of the people of our country believe they are just plain lying. Spying is a danger to the American people in multiple ways, Rand Paul is speaking for us all.
The Guardian Express