The government is telling us they did away with the phone records collection program. They were supposed to turn the information over to private entities but they haven’t done it. They voted to do it but that’s as far as it got.
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul on Sunday warned that the intelligence community is deceitfully using the terror attacks in Paris to promote its surveillance agenda.
“When you have a fearful time or an angry time, the people are coached into giving up their liberty,” said the Kentucky senator on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Paul has long railed against government surveillance, a topic that has been thrust into the spotlight in the wake of the Paris attacks that killed about 130 people.
The Paris attacks that killed 130 people has Rand Paul concerned that the government officials and lawmakers are misleading the public on the need for more extensive surveillance programs which were exposed by Edward Snowden after he worked as an NSA contractor.
Paul is pushing for an aggressive bill while several lawmakers like Marco Rubio have pushed to maintain the bulk phone records collection program which Congress voted to abolish at the beginning of the year, but didn’t.
“What they’re not telling you and what they’re being dishonest about is that we still have the phone records program,” Paul said.
He also noted that France’s surveillance programs are “1,000-fold greater than we have.”
“They still didn’t know anything about this,” Paul added.
“You can keep giving up liberties,” he said, “but in the end I don’t think we’ll end up safer.”
Sunday on Face the Nation, John Dickerson asked Paul how much he worried about “overreach in terms of additional surveillance operations?”
Paul said :“
I’m very worried about that because I think when you have a fearful time or an angry time, that people are coached into giving up their liberty. Already many in the intelligence community are saying, oh, if we only had the bulk phone collection program back. Well, what they’re not telling you and what they’re being dishonest about is, we still have the phone collection program.
In the United States, all phone records are still being collected all the time and we still had the attacks. And realize that in France, they have bulk collection or surveillance of their citizens a thousand fold greater than what we have with very little privacy protections. They still didn’t know anything about this. So what I would argue is that you can keep giving up liberty, keep giving up liberty, but in the end I don’t think we’ll be safer, but will we — we may have lost who we are as a people in the process. And I — I’m going to fight to make sure that doesn’t happen.”