Rand Paul: Every cell phone likely tracked
By: Jose DelReal
June 13, 2013 03:10 PM EDT
Can you hear me now? Rand Paul suspects so.
The Kentucky Republican senator said Thursday afternoon that he suspects the United States government is collecting data from every cell phone in America.
“My suspicion is that every cell phone in America is having their data tracked,” Paul told reporters. “While we don’t have proof that there are other orders, I doubt that the orders have been directed to one cell phone company.”
His comments go beyond what has been confirmed since last week’s leak regarding a secret National Security Agency program that collected massive amounts of metadata from Verizon, but serve as the underlying basis for a lawsuit he intends to file against the United States government.
Paul admitted that he does not know the precise legal mechanisms that would structure the lawsuit, saying he would need “help and assistance from attorneys to explain to me whether or not or how you can have a class action lawsuit with this many people.”
He did mention, however, the possibility of joining in on the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“To me it smacks of a general warrant… A specific warrant is supposed to be a name, a person, and some thing,” Paul told POLITICO following the event, alluding to the specific items listed in the Fourth Amendment regarding searches and seizures.
General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, has said that the NSA only accesses the content of the data once a court order has been issued specifically articulating suspected threats to national security.
But Paul takes issue with General Alexander’s assertion that the right balance between security and privacy is struck.
“When you collect it from a billion phone calls a day, even if you say you’re going to keep the name private, the possibility for abuse is enormous,” Paul said.