Rand Paul to introduce bill closing the FISA business records loophole

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced Thursday that he will soon introduce legislation that would have prevented the Justice Department from obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court order directing Verizon to turn over all phone records to the National Security Agency.

“The revelation that the NSA has secretly seized the call records of millions of Americans, without probable cause, represents an outrageous abuse of power and a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. I have long argued that Congress must do more to restrict the Executive’s expansive law enforcement powers to seize private records of law-abiding Americans that are held by a third-party,” Paul said.

Paul’s office does not yet have legislative language for his new Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013, but the bill will be designed to close the “business records” loophole that allowed NSA to obtain the phone records of Americans without a warrant.

Paul previously introduced an amendment with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to last December’s FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 that was also aimed at preventing government seizure of business record information without a warrant. It is unclear if the language in that amendment would have successfully prevented the NSA program revealed Wednesday, but Paul’s new legislation will make sure that loophole is closed.

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