Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has a serious bone to pick with the Obama administration. On Wednesday, “The NSA is Spying on You—Here is How You Should Fight Back,” a seething article he wrote for PolicyMic, went live. It’s a provocative read. His key points:
- Not only is looking at phone records and similar data a violation, it is also ineffective. "Let’s look... at the recent attacks in Boston," Sen. Paul writes. "Our government was violating our rights, trolling through millions of phone records, sifting through mountains of data and yet still didn't notice, or didn’t notice enough, that one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was traveling to Chechnya."
- Gen Y is the most affected by these issues of personal privacy. "This assault on personal privacy affects the Facebook generation more than anyone else," he says. "Your generation is completely digitized and uploaded. Everything you do is traceable via phone, email and bank records. And it is you, more than anyone, who should be outraged by this astounding assault on your constitutional right to personal privacy."
- President Obama is a hypocrite. "In December 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama threatened to filibuster the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)," Sen. Paul writes. "He now uses FISA courts to survey your personal information."
Sen. Paul emphasized that this is an issue not of party politics, but rather about protecting civil liberties. Yet the piece lacks any mention of what members of either party can do to “fight back,” save the vague call to “join [Sen. Paul] in protecting our rights to privacy.” It also leaves me wondering what makes Mark Zuckerberg a worthier owner and keeper of my personal information than President Obama.