Kentucky senator Rand Paul announced this morning that he plans to challenge the National Security Agency’s powers in the Supreme Court through a class-action lawsuit.
”I’m going to be asking all of the Internet providers, all of the phone companies, to 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 maybe things will change in Washington,” Paul told Fox News’s Chris Wallace.
Earlier this week, The Guardian reported that NSA is accessing the central computer servers of major U.S. Internet companies and extracting e-mail as well as audio and video chats, among other other material. The NSA has also directed Verizon to provide data on all its customers’ phone calls.
President Obama has defended the agency and his administration, saying the program to capture Internet messages targets only foreigners, helps to prevent terrorist attacks, and strikes the right balance between civil liberties and national security.
Paul, however, rejected the president’s explanation, calling the program unconstitutional. “We’re talking about trolling through billions of phone records,” he said. “Don’t troll through a billion phone records every day. That is unconstitutional.”