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Paul And Mulvaney: Government Must Err On The Side Of Privacy

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (S.C.-5) spoke at a news conference on Thursday, during which they set forth their view of the Constitutional issues at stake in the NSA surveillance programs leaked to The Guardian newspaper by Edward Snowden.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney
Mulvaney also took the opportunity provided by the news conference to applaud Senator Paul’s introduction of S. 1121, the “Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013,” which ensures that the Constitutional protections of the Fourth Amendment are not violated by any government entity.

Mulvaney was particularly tough in criticizing those in and out of Congress who downplay the threats to liberty presented by the NSA surveillance revelations: “When we passed the Patriot Act extensions, many of us were concerned about the potential for abuse in Section 215, among others. We were told at the time not to worry - that our government would not push the envelope on the language of this section. Apparently, our government never got that message.”

Mulvaney went on to say that, “Many of us used to think that when it came to gray areas on something so central to the fabric of this country, that the government would err on the side of our privacy, our fundamental rights, and our most basic constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Apparently, that is not the case. And that is why we are here today to try and reclaim the ground that's been lost. “

Senator Rand Paul took the opportunity presented by the news conference to announce the next steps in his campaign to reclaim that lost ground.

"Americans are rightly concerned about having all of their phone records collected and monitored all of the time," said Senator Paul, announcing that he and other civil liberties advocates will "be challenging the constitutionality of the court order" that gave legal color to the NSA surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden.

Paul also urged Americans to sign a petition supporting his planned class-action lawsuit. It will contend that the surveillance programs violate constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Senator Paul said he hopes millions of Americans will join a class-action lawsuit challenging the NSA programs. "There is a large groundswell of people who are upset about their privacy," he observed while urging grassroots America to join with him in defending privacy and the Constitutional principles at stake in the NSA revelations.

Senator Paul summed-up his day-long Thursday media blitz on the Constitutional issues at stake in the NSA revelations in a FOX News op-ed, saying, “No one is arguing that our enemies won't attack us here and that we shouldn't defend ourselves. Constitutionalists simply argue that we can defend the homeland and the Bill of Rights simultaneously, and to relinquish concrete liberties for an illusive security is a fool's errand.”

We agree with Representative Mick Mulvaney and Senator Rand Paul and urge readers to contact their Representative and Senators (the Capitol switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) to urge them to back efforts to enact strict, specific language in law that explicitly prevents the government from overreaching in matters of electronic surveillance in the guise of protecting national security.

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