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Policy: Technology

Rand Paul to NSA: Cell phones are 'none of your damn business'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,National Security,Rand Paul,NSA,Spying,Technology,CPAC

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., opened his CPAC speech by putting Republicans on notice that they need to shift toward the libertarian movement or lose the support of libertarian voters.

In terms of policy, Paul focused on the National Security Agency's cell phone data collection. "I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business," he said to raucous cheers, before criticizing President Obama for disappointing the proponents of civil liberties. "A great president would have protected us from the prying eyes of the NSA."

Paul only moved to policy, though, after simultaneously critiquing the Republican Party and continuing his attempt to appeal to black voters.

"You may think I'm talking about electing Republicans; I'm not," he said after describing a political environment congenial to CPAC attendees. "I'm talking about electing lovers of liberty. It isn't good enough to pick the lesser of two evils."

Paul said that the United States needs political leaders in the mold of abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison. "He rose above those politicians that would leave the country half-free, half-slave," Paul said, quoting Garrison's pledge to "be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice."

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