Rand Paul vows to take NSA spying to SCOTUS

The senator says he plans to ask telecomm, Internet firms to ask clients to join his class action

Published June 9, 2013 2:18PM (EDT)

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY., his libertarian tendencies in top gear, vowed to to challenge the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance powers in the Supreme Court through a class-action lawsuit.

"I’m going to be asking all of the Internet providers, all of the phone companies, to ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit. If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then maybe things will change in Washington,” Paul said.

Here's where Paul's free market libertarianism falls short, though: Although Internet giants like Facebook and Google have denied their participation in the top secret PRISM program, these firms have an established history of acquiescing to government demands for user data. Paul's idea that tech corporations will join en masse misses the cemented practice of communications corporations working in cahoots with government efforts to render every individual trackable. Perhaps, however, Paul's gambit will pay off if  Internet providers and phone companies believe the public relations benefits of fighting the NSA outweigh the burden of public outrage at the government's sprawling dragnet.

Via Fox News Sunday:

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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