Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to launch a class action challenge to the Supreme Court over the surveillance programs revealed in two separate leaks this week.
Paul announced his plans to sue the federal government on Fox News on Sunday, explaining:
“I’m going to be seeing it I can challenge this to the Supreme Court level. I’m going to be asking the Internet providers and all of the phone companies; ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit.”
The controversy started this week after The Guardian and The Washington Postpublished reports that the NSA has been gathering phone records from Verizon for millions of people each day.
A second report stated that the NSA is also mining metadata from internet companies, like Google and Yahoo, in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks. Paul added of the lawsuit:
“If we get 10 million Americans saying, ‘We don’t want our phone records looked at’ then maybe someone will wake up and things will change in Washington.”
Rand Paul is already a vocal critic of the NSA’s surveillance programs, making his proposal on Sunday not surprising, given the scope of the reported surveillance. Paul added that the data collection revealed this week was more than a modest invasion of privacy. He went so far as to say that it could have even weakened the country’s counterterrorism efforts.
Paul added of the leaks, “I think the American people are with me and I think if you talk to young people who use computers on a daily basis, they are absolutely with me.”
The congressman was quick to say that he is for going after terrorists. However, he added that they should “get a warrant, go after a terrorist or a murderer or a rapist. But don’t troll through a billion phone records every day. That is unconstitutional, it invades our privacy.”
Would you join a lawsuit against the US government for the recent NSA leaks?
[Image via Gage Skidmore]