Republican Senator Rand Paul has filed a lawsuit against President Obama and several leaders of intelligence agencies over the National Security Agency’s practice of collecting Americans’ phone call records. Senator Paul joins a crowded group of plaintiffs with similar cases pending over the practices of the NSA.
In a statement, Mr. Paul questioned the government’s ability to collect phone records of all Americans with a single warrant. The Obama administration has backed the program as legal, contending that 15 judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have given their approval since 2006.
The collecting of bulk call records began with the Bush Administration in 2001. The program ran without any constitutional or judicial structure until the 2006 court allowed a Justice Department measure in which phone companies were ordered to hand over records.
The conservative and libertarian advocacy group FreedomWorks is a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in the Federal District court for the District of Columbia.