Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday to halt the NSA’s phone-records collection program, and invited millions of Americans to sign up as co-plaintiffs to block overbearing government searches.
“We are filing suit against the president of the United States in defense of the Fourth Amendment,” Mr. Paul said as he stood outside the federal courthouse in Washington, holding cell phones up as props. “We will ask the question in court whether a single warrant can apply to the records of every American phone user — all of the time, without limits, without individualization.”
The freshman lawmaker, seen as a potential 2016 GOP presidential hopeful, was joined in the lawsuit by FreedomWorks, a conservative activist group.
They are seeking to stop the National Security Agency from collecting and holding five years of phone “metadata,” including the numbers, times and durations of almost all calls made in the U.S., which can then be searched without ever obtaining a warrant.
The lawsuit names President Obama; James R. Clapper, the director of National Intelligence; Keith B. Alexander, director of the NSA; and FBI Director James B. Comey as defendants.
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