- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has mounted a campaign on Capitol Hill against the NSA’s spying powers, says his views on government surveillance and data collection are popular outside the confines of Washington, D.C.

Key provisions of the post-9/11 Patriot Act expired Sunday thanks to a fight from Mr. Paul, a 2016 presidential candidate who has been vociferously opposed to provisions like Section 215 of the act, which is tied to the NSA’s bulk data collection program.

“The Patriot Act does not allow for this illegal collection of records, and yet the president is doing it anyway,” Mr. Paul said Monday evening on Fox News’ “Hannity” program. “So the good success that will come out of this week, and I hope this will be a success in the sense that I’ve spent a lot of time talking about this, is that from now on, the president will not be allowed to collect any records and store them in the form of a general warrant.”

Things would have to be “individualized” and go through the phone companies, Mr. Paul said.

He said he still has some “concerns” about the USA Freedom Act, which would end the bulk collection, but complimented the lawmakers behind that push, a version of which has already passed the House.

Mr. Paul was also played clips of people like Rep. Peter King of New York, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former New York Gov. George Pataki criticizing him on the issue.

He said if you want to hear the other side, you have to get “outside the Beltway.”

“I’ve been traveling the country, and everywhere I go we have large crowds of people, a lot of young people, think that it’s wrong for the government to indiscriminately collect all of our bulk records,” he said. “The courts have said it’s illegal. So I frankly think what I’ve been arguing for is actually quite popular among Americans outside of, you know, the Washington establishment.”

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