Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is once again taking to Twitter to express his opposition to reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act, which would make controversial government mass surveillance practices permanent, albeit with some humor.
On Monday, the senator used a GIF based on a popular Star Wars scene to speak out against what he called long term reauthorization of the “unconditional power to spy on Americans.”
“The House is going to take up a FISA extension that will not only extend their unconditional power to spy on Americans, but will make the problem worse. But there is resistance,” Paul’s tweet reads, including the “this not going to go the way you think” quote, spoken by Luke Skywalker in the latest blockbuster Star Wars movie, “The Last Jedi.”
Current FISA regulations permit the FBI to conduct “backdoor” searches of American communications with foreign targets of suspicion without a warrant.
Paul has been fierce in his opposition to long term reauthorization, promising to filibuster any legislation that would continue unauthorized and warrantless spying, a vow he repeated on CBS News Face the Nation on Sunday.
Paul has been joined by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), with Paul and Wyden dubbing themselves the “bipartisan duo” who speak out consistently against the mass surveillance state.
Wyden tweeted his support of Paul’s continued opposition on Monday.
At a press conference in December, Paul was joined by libertarian-conservative activist group FreedomWorks and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in calling for an end to warrantless surveillance.
“I absolutely oppose permanent reauthorization,” Paul said. “Any reauthorization has to be paired with more oversight, not less.”
In the House, staunch privacy advocate Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) has introduced an amendment to the bill that would replace the standalone reauthorization with the USA Rights Act (H.R. 4124), a reform bill introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).
“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.