Rand Paul and the NSA
In the wake of the revelations about PRISM and National Security Agency spying, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced a bill, S. 1121, or “A bill to stop the National Security Agency from spying on citizens of the United States and for other purposes.”
We unfortunately don’t have the text yet, as the bill was introduced Friday, and the exact text hasn’t returned from the Government Printing Office and into the Library of Congress’ THOMAS system yet. Until we have that text, I personally can only speculate as to what exactly it will require. The Associated Press, however, notes that the bill will force the National Security Agency to acquire a warrant before snooping into our records.
Hmm, where have we heard that before?
In the meantime, Sen. Paul is also looking to get at the NSA with a broad class-action lawsuit, where he hopes he can get 10 million to join him in suing the secretive spy agency, hopefully before the U.S. Supreme Court. There are questions of legal standing on whether or not Sen. Paul and the potential plaintiffs could sue the NSA, but I (speaking as someone who is most emphatically not a lawyer) find those questions to be moot: if the NSA is taking everyone’s call data, then by definition Paul and the plaintiffs would be affected and have standing. The question is finding specific, concrete examples of data, which have not yet been released. No doubt The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald is holding onto a few examples to release later in order to keep attention on the case running for a long period of time.
Also, it appears our leaker, Edward Snowden, has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong. The BBC notes that he checked out of the hotel, but from there nobody knows. It appears Mr. Snowden is already on the run.