Rand Paul says he will filibuster surveillance bill if it doesn’t include warrant protections

Rand Paul Justin Amash Photo: Fox News Facebook/Screenshot

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Sen. Rand Paul joined a bipartisan group of Washington lawmakers on Wednesday to announce his intention to filibuster the extension of the FISA Amendments Act.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took part in a press conference with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) among others, to oppose long-term extension of warrantless surveillance by the United States government.


Sen. Paul has been adamant in his opposition to long-term reauthorization, promising to filibuster any legislation that does not require a warrant to spy on American citizens under the FISA Amendments Act. Under Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Act, the FBI may conduct “backdoor” searches of American communications with foreign targets of suspicion without a warrant.

The bipartisan movement to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens has also attracted the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union and libertarian-conservative activist group FreedomWorks, all calling for an end to the mass surveillance.

Paul and Wyden have frequently worked together to tackle the surveillance state in the Senate, both promising to filibuster any legislation that would allow any long-term reauthorization Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Amash is also taking the lead in the House to push back against unwarranted mass surveillance.

#Section702 enables massive, warrantless spying on Americans. I’m joining Rep. @justinamash, Sen. @RandPaul and a bipartisan group of House and Senate colleagues to speak out in support of FISA reform. Tune in,” Wyden tweeted on Wednesday, including a live stream of the press conference from Amash’s office.

“I absolutely oppose permanent reauthorization,” Paul said in December. “Any reauthorization has to be paired with more oversight, not less.”

The senators also expressed their support of Amash’s amendment that would replace standalone reauthorization with the USA Rights Act (H.R. 4124), a FISA reform bill introduced by Lofgren.

“I will oppose #S139 and have introduced a substitute amendment consisting of the #USARIGHTSAct. Unlike #S139, it limits the mass collection and broad use of Americans’ data, and requires a warrant to search for it—as the #4thAmendment requires,” Amash tweeted on Monday.

You can watch the conference in its entirety here, courtesy of Fox News:

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