Paul Joins Push to Overhaul Surveillance

Paul Joins Push to Overhaul Surveillance

Despite the enormous outcry from the public, and all the disgust from American citizens, the NSA still has the authority to spy on its own people. Whether it’s the collection of phone records or parsing through e-mails, nothing’s changed since what was publicized about the NSA in the summer of 2013.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is still trying to change that however, and he’s teaming up with Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon to make it happen.

As the Oregon Business Report reported, Paul came out as a sponsor of the ‘Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act.’ It’s a bipartisan bill – introduced by Republican Paul, as well as Democrats Mark Udall, Richard Blumenthal, and Wyden – that seeks to overhaul U.S. surveillance.

The bill, as Wyden put it, will put an end to the bulk collection of law-abiding Americans’ phone records, will close a loophole that allows the government to collect information about Americans’ communications without a warrant, and will create “an independent constitutional advocate” that will argue important cases in front of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court.

Wyden and Paul unveiled the bill together during September of 2013.

Paul has previously said he was “appalled” by the warrant-less collection of phone records, and said that it “represents an outrageous abuse of power.” He also clarified that if there is a criminal to go after that’s fine – but leave the law-abiding American citizens’ private communications alone. The government has no right to spy on its people without reason.

Paul even introduced his own bill earlier, called the ‘Fourth Amendment Restoration Act.’ That bill would stop the NSA and government from spying on American citizens. It would require a warrant that provides probable cause before they were allowed to search any phone records.

That certainly sounds like an improvement – the government not being able to spy on Americans whenever it wants, for whatever reason it feels like. And despite the hyper-partisan nature of Congress, the inability of parties to work together, maybe this bill – which has the support of Republicans and Democrats – is what finally makes something happen.

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