Rand Paul says he might sue government
June 9th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
1 year ago

Rand Paul says he might sue government

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said Sunday he's looking into suing the federal government in the wake of what has been a tumultuous week for the Obama administration and National Security Agency.

"I'm going to be seeing if I can challenge this at 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," Paul said on FOX News Sunday.

"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."

The controversy began this week after multiple published reports said the NSA has been mining the phone and Internet records of both U.S. citizens and people around the world in a quest to prevent terrorist attacks.

President Obama addressed the issue Friday, saying the information gathered is extremely broad and that the government isn't monitoring the content of the data or people's names unless they have probable cause and a warrant.

But Paul said this data collection is by no means a modest invasion of privacy and in fact may even weaken America's counterterrorism operations.

"We are looking through so much data that I think it makes our fight against terrorism worse," Paul said.

In the end, Paul - known as a strong proponent of civil liberties - said this intelligence-gathering strategy is simply a step too far.

"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," Paul said.


Filed under: NSA • Rand Paul
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Tom

    I'm in! A senator that is actually trying to protect our civil liberties instead of trying to get more power. Imagine that!

    June 9, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Donkey Party

    This has been going on since the 90's. Where has all the outrage been since then??? Is it because there's an uppity black guy in the White House? Rand Paul is nuttier than his old man.

    June 9, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Linda Ackerman

    They have no business in our lives,why doesn't Obama do what he was elected to do' Protect Us'? He has to GO......

    June 9, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Donkey Party

    Rand Paul a "strong proponent for civil liberties"? Who wrote that whopper? More like "a strong opponent of civil rights".

    June 9, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Elizabeth

    ill be in favor of this where do i sign my name?

    June 9, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    A frivolous lawsuit from a frivolous man ... the issue IS NOT frivolous - but a lawsuit is not the way to change things.

    June 9, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. milton

    And we are sending jets to the wrong pilots.

    June 9, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. patrick fields

    I agree this is the first step in turning this country communist this has got to stop we need to get rid of this president and his friends

    June 9, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. john aka skip warren

    I am sick of a govt that thinks it is above everyone else and the law. Lets go after them thru all the courts.

    June 9, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    He is member of our government , I have to say this Sarah Palin is smarter than Rand Paul

    June 9, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. DaveF

    I am an American People & I sure as hell not with you.

    June 9, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Beth Dusty

    I think something HAS to be done!! Obama is trying very hard to take over this country and make all of the American people his slaves... Come on America!! We are better than Obama is!! We can beat him and his Democratic cohorts!!

    June 9, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. grantsurveyor

    Americans need to push back and push hard. We have allowed this to happen by the candidates that we have elected. It might already be too late. I keep hoping that one day the American people will wake up.

    June 9, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    He does not have LOCUS STANDI in law suit. Pathetic.

    June 9, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Sandi

    This is crazy, restrict our guns, restrict our insurance, now our phone records, but he wont reform welfare or take care of our own? What about his records? Now his family is spending all summer on the Vineyard for vacation? Wheres the money for that coming from? What about the other 200 vacations they took? Look at our phone records I want to see the itemized list for all his family vacations along with his real birth certificate. He needs to go!! Sign me up quick please

    June 9, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. brooke chism

    This country was founded on the rights of freedom-unalienable rights. I am certain that listening in on an individual's phone conversations and reading their emails would be frowned upon by our founding fathers. This is not about protecting the people, this is about abuse of power by the current administration. Or, I like to call it, Obamagate.

    June 9, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. Lawrence May

    I am with you. My ancestors came over on the Mayflower.

    June 9, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. YUCK

    Who cares about this dude,behind close walls he's a lobbiest,but on the pavement sidewalk he's nothing

    June 9, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Vivian Lang

    I am with you. I'll sign it. It funny that all the people opposing it on this page don't even live in the country. They want to speak for us because they can't speak in their own country. Pathetic.

    June 9, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Ron L

    This "mining data" is a direct result of the Patriot Act which many people felt went too far into private citizens lives without us know exactly how deeply it was occurring. I believe the threat of a lawsuit is more political grandstanding, what we need to do is reopen the Patriot Act for discussion and figure out the best way to attempt catching terrorist threats before they occur. But ALL OF YOU need to realize this, if we take away some of this authority, and there are more successful attempts you CAN NOT blame the government,t you have to come to terms that it was OUR decision as a nation and WE have to accept the consequences.

    June 9, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Marie MD

    The NSA has been secretly collecting the phone calls of ten of thousands of Americans using data provided by phone companies. The NSA programs reaches into homes and businesses across the nation ammassing information the calls of ordinary American, most of whom are not suspected of any crimes.
    so paul crazy lite if o want to sue the government start with the shrub #43 beause in your insanity, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. this was written in USA Today on MAY 11, 2006. Yes, right 2006!!! so if you are going to sue anyone start with the rancher in Midland, TX.
    this is why the rethugs are losing people left and right. Keep it up because yo will NEVER get anybody with half a brain to vote for or yours in a general election.

    June 9, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. plain&simple

    What do you think Rand Paul would be doing if he weren't employed in the Government??? If you have a problem with the way things are being done and you WORK in government. Change the way it's being dine by persuading your peers. Not by lawsuits!!! There are more of those than we need....that's a major problem.

    June 9, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Jasper P. Colingsworth, VI

    Rand Paul comes from a rare breed. He's a person who not only points out the bad in our government, but someone who challenges the federal government's raping of our rights. I pray that he stirs enough people to bring a real and much needed change to our country. The question I would like to see answered is, "Can we turn back all the damages caused by this progressive socialist regime in D.C.?

    June 9, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. JW

    this why this clown will not even be a contender for POTUS.......he needs to quit jumping on all these news headlines just to get his name out there....

    June 9, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Donkey's Rear End Party

    Donkey Party, the story just broke recently, deep. It was not known as factual by the public or many in Congress until recently. Think before you post.

    June 9, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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