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Topics: CFPB

Rand Paul suspects NSA collects credit card records

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Rand Paul,NSA,Surveillance,CFPB,Credit Cards,Privacy,Data Mining

Does the National Security Agency collect the credit card statements of every American? Sen. Rand Paul thinks so.

"I think these records include your phone records, I think they include your text messages, your emails -- and, I think, in all likelihood, they're probably collecting your credit card statements as well," the Kentucky Republican said during a C-SPAN "Newsmakers" interview that aired Sunday. "I don't know all of that. Some of these allegations have been made in the media."

Uncertainty notwithstanding, Paul dwelled on the subject of NSA credit card record collection. "Think about your credit card records, and I tell people all the time, think about what people can know about you that might be on your Visa bill," he said, before listing information such as book purchases and psychiatric treatment. "I really think that's personal information, and unless you are specifically named on a warrant, nobody should be looking at that."

Paul predicted that the Supreme Court will invalidate the NSA bulk metadata collection program, which he says is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The NSA wouldn't be the only federal agency interested in credit card records. "Officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are conducting a massive, NSA-esque data-mining project collecting account information on an estimated 991 million American credit card accounts," the Washington Examiner's Richard Pollock reported in January.

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