Rand Paul: Changes Announced by Obama Don't Go Far Enough

Jan 17, 2014

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul listens to President Obama's speech on NSA changes in a breakroom at WKU PBS in Bowling Green.
Credit Sen. Paul's Office

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator said President Obama isn’t going far enough with changing the country’s data collection policy.

Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul told WKU Public Radio he believes the privacy of American citizens will continue to be violated despite changes announced Friday during a speech by the President.

“Well, to me it kinda sounded like, you know, if you like your privacy, you can keep it, except for the fact that he’s going to still continue to collect your phone records, your emails, your texts, and probably your credit card records. So, while on the surface it sounded like he is concerned with our privacy, I didn’t really hear any policy changes that he’s going to quit collecting all of our records,” said Sen. Paul.

In his much-anticipated address Friday, President Obama said he will require intelligence agencies to receive permission from a secret court before tapping into vast amounts of phone data, and will eventually move that information out of the hands of the government.

That wasn't enough to satisfy Sen. Paul, who said he will continue to push legislation that would change the way data can be collected by the National Security Agency.

“One of the things that we have proposed is that if the NSA, or through the FISA court—which is a foreign security court…that when they issue a warrant, if I’m the phone company and they want all of your records, you can challenge that. But you can challenge that in an open court—the Supreme Court—not just in secret.”

The Bowling Green Republican said the concerns about privacy have brought together a coalition of those on the political left and right who normally don’t agree with each other. The bill Sen. Paul is supporting is co-sponsored by two Senate Democrats.