Jim Hickey’s American Politics

Let's Get Real.

Senator Rand Paul Criticizes NSA for Spying on Ordinary Americans at the Expense of Real Terrorists

Senator Rand Paul, one in a long list of GOP presidential contenders, took time to criticize the National Security Agency (NSA) over its stealth phone-internet metadata program. The program, which was first learned about after NSA employee Edward Snowden ratted out the program to WikiLeaks, is soon coming to an end. For starters, the Supreme Court ruled the program was in violation of the Patriot Act. Sam Tabar knows that the government had argued that the language of the act justified the program. The Supreme Court disagreed saying the scope of the metadata program was so broad it would require explicit authorization in the law which it did not have.

Now, Congress has sent to the USA Freedom Act to the president’s desk for approval by veto-proof majorities. The act will end the NSA’s controversial meta data program. In the future, the NSA will need to seek authorization from a FISA judge before obtaining phone and internet usage information on people. However, Senator Paul took the time to castigate the NSA. He said that had their efforts been devoted to actually track suspected terrorists such as those involved in the Boston Bombing, they have prevented the attack. Instead, he said the agency devoted its efforts to spy on ordinary Americans. Quite likely the senator’s sharp rhetoric is designed to play to his base. There has been no study that indicates the metadata program prevented the NSA from stopping the Tsarnaev brothers from carrying out their work of destruction.

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