Senator Rand Paul Wants A Class Action Lawsuit Against NSA Surveillance

from the how-about-doing-something-in-congress-first dept

We've been hearing more about outraged Congressional Representatives and Senators concerning NSA surveillance, with Rand Paul announcing that he's going to file a "class action lawsuit" against the administration, and Rep. Justin Amash suggesting something similar. While I appreciate the gesture, it seems like since those two (and others) are in Congress, their time might be better spent seeing what they can do to fix things from there. The lawsuits are going to flow, that seems fairly certain. But we'd already seen Senators and Representatives who tried to alert the world to what was going on prior to the leaks, so why don't Amash, Paul and the others team up and fix things the way they can: by using the legislature to rein in an intelligence community that is out of control, in large part because of permission Congress gave them.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    Quick lets distract people from us allowing this!
    Class Action Lawsuit, where everyone will get something!

    Rather than say, passing a bill to cut all funding to these programs immediately.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    I for one am outraged

    Outraged I tell you at the atrocious things I as a senator have allowed my government to do...

    What? I'm not a senator, and no amount of "word wrangling" would make a bit of difference?

    Okay, where's my free cash (lobbiest) and entertainment (hookers and blow), do I still get those at least? What this job is nothing like daddy told me it would be ;(

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    Re:

    What do you mean 'us?' There's a clear record of who voted how on FISA. Rand Paul voted no. Obama voted yes. One is clearly in the 'us allowing this' group (along with many other representatives and senators) and one is not. Strangely your choice of words makes it seem like it's the other way around.

     

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  4.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    "no evidence of real harm" -- Wasn't this tried before?

    And only goes into the circular file because of the circular: you have no standing to bring the suit because you have no evidence because you have no standing to compel disclosure from the only sources that have it, the targets of the suit.

    And anything with Rand Paul -- inheritor of the Loony Libertarian franchise, which exists SOLELY because of the need to gull the public that an opposition even exists -- is probably a set-up. Remember the big squawk in December about him getting Holder to "confess" on the drones? Well, nothing has changed. Holder is still there, and Rand Paul is just another fraud.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    Re:

    There's a very short window of political opportunity to be first on the grandstand. At least someone was paying attention and was ready to fan the flames of outrage provoked by this latest of three-letter-agency fiascoes.

     

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  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

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  7.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:53pm

    pluses and minuses...

    1. in spite of the loony label being unfairly applied to *ONLY* rand paul (no fan, but i could make a valid argument that he is more 'reality-based' than most kongresskritters); it is appreciated that some *few* kongresskritters stand on their hind legs and bleat against The System (tm)...
    ...even when they *are* The System (tm)

    2. how fucked up is 'our' (sic) gummint when the very few lawmakers who stand up for the Constitution and the People have to FILE SUIT AGAINST THEIR OWN GUMMINT, since NOTHING of import and impact will happen through the normal (coverup) channels...

    3. um, ain't it *always* the parasites, er, lawyers who make out like bandits on class action suits ?

    ...someone ought to file a class action suit about lawyers taking all the proceeds...
    oh, wait...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:56pm

    Re: "no evidence of real harm" -- Wasn't this tried before?

    Does anyone remember when the Daily Show slowly transitioned out of making up news to report and into making fun of real news?

    I feel like the world may finally be so broken that ootb is starting to make sense :(

     

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  9.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm sorry I sure thought there was this thing called Congressional Oversight.

    Rand Paul opted to suggest a class action lawsuit than to use his very powerful position as an elected leader of this country to stop something.

    No one gives a flying fig right now, except maybe you and some other pundits, who started this bullshit.

    What they care about is who is going to do something serious to end it rather than suck all of the air out of the room yammering on about a tactic that is far less effective than putting a bill on the floor to shut the damn thing down and having a press conference to get the public to scare the shit out of their congresscritter to support it.

    Then we can have all the hearings and press conferences they want trying to assign blame to a single person. We waste more time trying to make sure the right person is blamed that we end up ignoring the actual problem the entire time.

    Problem - Solution, THEN blame game.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:59pm

    Re:

    Venom.

     

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  11.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 10th, 2013 @ 5:00pm

    Re:

    And the NSA knows who you are now, and your check is in the mail.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    … far less effective than putting a bill on the floor…


    Sometimes Congress is sensitive to public opinion.

    Pew Research Center / Washington Post poll, conducted June 6-9, finds “Majority Views NSA Phone Tracking as Acceptable Anti-terror Tactic”.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re:

    "And the NSA knows who you are now, and your check is in the mail."

    I like money, thank you NSA!

     

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  14.  
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    LivingInNavarre (profile), Jun 10th, 2013 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The House has voted 36 times to repeal Obamacare. It's still here so when you are a minority (and 2 good legislators are very much a minority) then they have a snowballs chance in hell of getting any bill even considered.
    If the public is properly outraged, and a class action suit will give it the media attention it desperately needs, then those same people can start calling their own elected officials and ask for something to be done.

    But I really doubt even that will be enough. I'm against this half-baked amnesty bill and have called, emailed and faxed my boy Rubio to express my concerns. The best I've gotten back is a very generic form letter telling me the benefits of letting millions of illegals to suddenly be able to collect welfare.

     

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  15.  
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    MAC, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Get something...

    I am anxiously waiting for my check of $2.79...

     

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  16.  
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    MAC, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

    The Real Problem...

    On the one hand, we have a clear violation, at least in spirit, of the 4th Amendment.
    On the other hand; we live in an age where a 1 megaton nuclear weapon fits inside of a big thermos bottle.
    We need our rights but, we don't need a nuke going off in New York or Chicago or Washington or anywhere else for that matter.
    I just hope that all of this survelance prevents a catstrophe from occuring.
    If it doe not then all of this was for naught.
    We all need to pray...

     

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  17.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 10th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    Re: The Real Problem...

    So to protect your freedom, your willing to give all of them up.

    I dunno a nuke going off in DC might not be that bad (he said jokingly you humorless NSA pricks).

    In the entire time they've had this program they can not produce a SINGLE event it prevented. They tried to take credit for an event that was solved by policework and not this program.

    All of the terrorist threats you hear about in the news, 99.5% of them are patsys the FBI setup to take down in a big showy event. They use convicted child molesters to gather data on Muslims, offering to cut back his sentence if he gets them something good.

    Maybe the quaking terror of a Muslim under your bed should be replaced with the Government keeping you so terrified your willing to give up everything in the name of "safety".

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: Get something...

    Which will come out of your tax dollars anyways.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

    Response to: That Anonymous Coward on Jun 10th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    Don't cut funding to the programs, eliminate the NSA's budget entirely.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 8:39pm

    Re:

    Rotten milk is less disgusting than you.

     

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  21.  
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    antonio aquino, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 10:29pm

    Count me in on Class Action Lawsuit

    I hope Rand Paul files that Lawsuit.

    Thanks
    Tony Aquino

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 1:44am

    before anything can be fixed, you have to know exactly how it is broken, how badly it is broken and what steps need to be taken to fix it. it's no good doing the 'fixing' half arsed, it needs to be done properly. that means others as well as law enforcement being reined in, eg Hollywood, who are just as bad and want everyone monitored all of the time with everything they do!

     

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  23.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And that boys and girls is exactly how it starts. Is history no longer required in schools?

    Let's see how many other times throughout history have the people been willing to put up with violations to their civil liberties in order to 'protect the state'. Hmmm, now let's see where have I heard about things like this before?

    Nazi Germany comes to mind. "Oh but that was not Americans, we would never go that far!" I hear you say.

    So let's look a little closer to home, you know, on American soil.

    Colonial Massachusetts 1692-1693 Salem Witch Trials. "Too old!"; I hear you cry; "We are more civilized now!", or so you say.

    Well let's jump forward 250+ years to say the late 1940's and early 1950's. Do you know what I am referring to?

    Mcarthy's famous 'red's under our beds' campaign. Surely you learned about this in school if you aren't old enough to have lived through it.

    Now today we have the "Patriot Act" and the great fear of terrorism. Where people are stripped of privacy and secretly spied upon because they might be a terrorist. Oddly, many people say "I have nothing to hide." At least until they have unwittingly become a target, and someone decides that childhood friend is an enemy of the state; your college dorm mate; your neighbor; the person you work with...

    What do these (and other examples) have in common? They all used fear as a means to alienate people and make them turn against each other under the illusion of an ongoing conspiracy. They were all in search of an invisible enemy who caused 'some sort of damage to society'.

    Most importantly all were exploited by various powerful individuals to gain power due to the paranoia of the average person.

    So go ahead sheeple, let your government leaders take you down the road to the slaughter house. Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

     

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  24.  
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    shane (profile), Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:12am

    Weird....

    Someone does something in support of your claimed issues and you deride them for it?

    Cynicism only goes just so far, folks. Rand Paul is not Jesus Christ, but you might at least act like it matters to you when people support your causes. Otherwise you just come across as an anthill to be avoided at all costs.

    More and more I am convinced there is a decidedly leftists bent to this blog. It's as if you're lobbying what you perceive to be your home team to come back to you or something.

    Sheesh.

     

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  25.  
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    Pragmatic, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 5:31am

    Re: Re: "no evidence of real harm" -- Wasn't this tried before?

    Not the real Blue(s) - too logical, not banging on about "teh googlez" or the importance of ratcheting IPR upwards.

     

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  26.  
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    Pragmatic, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 5:34am

    Re: Weird....

    It's called "moderate," Shane.

    That whole "purity" thing is really an excuse for extremism.

     

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  27.  
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    velox (profile), Jun 11th, 2013 @ 6:33am

    Shane:
    I agree with your main point. I appreciate Rand Paul's willingness to take a stand in support of civil liberties, even when that sometimes means bucking his own party's historical positions.

    As to leftists however, there are quite a variety of political views on TD, and I don't believe leftist philosophy is more prominent than others.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You remember the phrase "History is written by the winners"?

    ...Yeah.

     

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  29.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So which of these are you saying are not accurate?

    Sure history is written by the winners, and certainly it is slanted, that doesn't mean you can't learn from it.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:17am

    A "class action" lawsuit is silly. At first glance it would seem like a good course of action, because of the huge number of people that were spied on. But we're suing the government. If we win, what happens? The law is overturned? That would happen anyway with a normal lawsuit like the ACLU is filing. We all get money? That would be pointless, since that would only increase the deficit or cause taxes to be raised.

    The main thing we can do here is pay attention which congressmen try to defend the spying, and vote accordingly in the next election. Forget your normal republican vs democrat voting method. This is more important, and this issue does not split along party lines.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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