Sen. Rand Paul Seeking Class-Action Lawsuit Over Gov't Record-Trolling

June 10, 2013 - 6:44 AM

rand paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - "I'm going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told "Fox News Sunday."

"I have no problem if you have probable cause and you target people who are terrorists and you go after them and people that they're communicating with -- you get another warrant. But we're talking about trolling through billions of phone records. We're not talking about going after a terrorist," Paul said.

Having the National Security Agency "troll" through "billions of phone records every day" is unconstitutional, Paul said. "It invades our privacy, and I'm going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level.

"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."

Paul said he wants to go after terrorists as much as anyone does. But he said the government records-scanning is making anti-terrorism efforts more difficult:

"Fox example, we are looking through so much data that I think it makes our fight against terrorism worse. The Tsarnaev boy, one of the Boston marathon bombers, we didn't know that he went back to Chechnya because we're not doing enough targeted analysis. We have millions of phone calls and we can't even possibly look at all the data.

"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.

"Why didn't we know the Tsarnaev boy had gone back to Chechnya? Because we're not doing good police work because we're busy looking at the records of regular Americans who haven't committed any crime."

In addition to litigation, Paul plans to introduce legislation he's calling the "Fourth Amendment Restoration Act." The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures:

"What I do in my private life is my private life," Paul said, noting that what he charges to his credit card is no one's business. He said millions of people need to let it be known that their digitized information must be protected from a "snooping government."

"I think it really makes people distrust their government even more, when they're seeing the IRS being used after political opponent. But this much power is too much power to give any government. I don't care if it's a Republican government or Democratic government, I don't want that much power given to a president and I think it's very worrisome.

"And I think if the young people in this country wake up and say, "Enough's enough and we don't want them looking at our phone records," I think we could reverse this."