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Sen. Rand Paul eyes lawsuit, Supreme Court action over surveillance

- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said Sunday he is looking into whether he can take the recent battle over government surveillance programs to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I'm going to be asking all the internet providers and phone companies, 'Ask your customers and join me in a class-action lawsuit,' and if we get 10 million Americans saying we don't want our phone records looked at, then maybe somebody [will] wake up and say things will change in Washington," Mr. Paul said on "Fox News Sunday."

On Friday, Mr. Paul introduced a bill that would bar the government from acquiring Americans' phone records without a warrant.

"We're not talking about going after a terrorist. I'm all for that," Mr. Paul said. "Get a warrant. Go after a terrorist or a murderer or a rapist."

On Saturday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper criticized the news media for a "rush to publish" information based on "reckless" leaks about government surveillance programs.

Last week, the Guardian newspaper of Great Britain and The Washington Post reported the existence of a surveillance operation known as PRISM and its use by the National Security Agency and the FBI for "tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies."

Mr. Clapper said that the program is crucial to protecting the country against terrorist attacks and that the Internet companies are aware of the surveillance.

"Service providers supply information to the government when they are lawfully required to do so," he said.

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