Full Transcript: Rand Paul’s First Hour of Filibustering the PATRIOT Act


Sen. Rand Paul’s team has provided Breitbart News with a transcript of his first full hour of the filibuster, which is now close to entering its third hour and has bipartisan support. Here’s a video and transcript, courtesy of Sen. Paul’s office.


Paul: Mr. President, there comes to a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer. That time is now. And I will not let the patriot act, the most un-patriotic of acts, go unchallenged.

At the very least we should debate, we should debate whether or not we are going to relinquish our rights or whether or not we are going to have a full and able debate over whether or not we can live within the constitution or whether or not we have to go around the constitution.

The bulk collection of all Americans’ phone records all of the time is a direct violation of the fourth amendment. The second appeals court has ruled it legal. The president began this program by executive order. He should immediately end it through executive order.

For over a year now, he has said the program is illegal and yet he does nothing. He says, well, congress can get rid of the patriot act. Congress can get rid of the bulk collection and yet he has the power to do it at his fingertips. He began this illegal program.

The court has informed him that the program is illegal. He has every power to stop it and yet the president does nothing. Justice Brandeis wrote that the right to be left alone is the most cherished of rights, most prized among civilized men. The Fourth Amendment incorporates this right to privacy.

The Fourth Amendment incorporates this right to be left alone. When we think about the bulk collection of records, you might ask, well, maybe I’m willing to give up my freedom for security. Maybe if I just give up a little freedom I’ll be more safe.

Well, most of the information that comes on whether you’re a safe or not comes from people who have secret information that you’re not allowed to look at. So you have to trust the people. You have to trust those in our intellectual community that they’re being honest with you, that when they tell you how important these programs are and that you must give up your freedoms, you must give up part of the fourth amendment, when they tell you this, you have to trust them.

The problem is that we’re having a great deal of difficulty trusting these people. When James Clapper, the head of the intelligence agency, the director of national intelligence, was asked point-blank, are you collecting the records of Americans’ phone records in bulk, he said no.

It turns out that that was dishonest. And yet President Obama still has him in place. So when they say, oh, how important these programs are how they’re keeping us safe from terrorists, we’re having to trust someone who lied to a Congressional committee. It’s a felony to lie to a Congressional committee, and nothing has been done about this.

So about a year ago we began having this debate because a whistleblower came forward and said, here is a warrant for all of the phone records from Verizon. And you say, well, maybe they have evidence that people at Verizon were doing something wrong.

There’s no evidence. This is — they want everyone’s phone records. I don’t have a problem with going after terrorists and getting their records. But you should call a judge. You should say the name of the terrorist and you get their records, as much as you want.

If I’m the judge and they ask me for the Tsarnaev boy’s record, the Boston bomber, the Russians had investigated him. He had gone back to Chechnya, and yet nobody even asked for a warrant to look at his stuff we didn’t even know he went back to Chechnya then we had the disaster of the Boston marathon.

I would make the argument that we spend so much time getting the haystack bigger and bigger and bigger that we can’t find the needle because the haystack is too darn big. We keep making it bigger and bigger, and we’re taking resources away from the human analysts who should be looking and seeing when Tsarnaev travels outside of our country.

We recently had another terrorist travel from Phoenix to Texas. We had arrested him previously. My guess is there was sufficient cause, probable cause for a real warrant to look at his activities, and we should. But I don’t think we’re any safer looking at every American’s records.

In fact, when this came up, the government said, well, we’ve captured 52 terrorists because of this. When the president’s own privacy commission looked at all 52 of them, there was a debate about whether maybe one had been aided but not found by these records and would have been found by other records.

We have too decide as a country whether we value our bill of rights, whether we value our privacy or whether we’re willing to give that up to feel safer because I am a not even sure you can argue that we are safer but people will argue that they feel safer. But think about it.

Is the standard to be if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear but that everything should be exposed to the government, that all of your records can be collected? Now, some will say these are just boring old business records. Why would you care if they could find out who called and how long you spoke on the phone?

Well, two Stanford students did a study of this. They got an app and they put the app on the phone voluntarily for 500 people and these people then made phone calls and all they looked at was how long they spoke, metadata, and who they spoke to the phone number they were connected to and what they found was is that without any other information, 85% of the time they could tell what their religion was.

More than 70% of the time they could tell who their doctor was. They could tell what medications they took. They could tell what diseases they had. The government shouldn’t have the ability to get that information unless they have suspicion, unless they have probable cause that you’ve committed a crime.

The appeals court, when they looked at this was flabbergasted that the government would make the argument that this was somehow relevant to an investigation, because that’s what the standard is. Under the Constitution, the standard is probable cause.

Which means there’s some evidence or suspicion that you’ve done something illegal. But the standard now is relevance, which means is it relevant to an investigation but the court said, even that looser standard of relevance, they said it completely destroys any meaning of any words if we’re going to say every American’s phone records in the whole country is somehow relevant to an investigation.

But it gets worse. They don’t even have to prove it. The government says to the court that they think it’s relevant, but there is no challenge. There is no debate. It’s just taken at face value. Or at least it was until this court ruling was appealed.

So you now have the second appeals court that said this bulk collection of phone records is illegal. There are many different programs going on. This is the only one we know about that our government is collecting our records and the only reason we know about it is not because the government was honest with you.

The government was dishonest. The director of national intelligence tried to basically lie to the American people and say it didn’t exist. So we know about this one, but what other programs are out there? There’s something called executive order 12333.

There’s some who believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg, the bulk collection, that there is an enormous amount of data being collected on people through this other program. One question is, if there is no Fourth Amendment protection to your records, are they collecting your credit card bills? I don’t know the truth of that. I would sure like to know.

I don’t know whether to trust their answer if I asked them, if they’ll be honest with us to say are they collecting our credit card records. And people might say, well, your credit card records are just boring old business records.

Why would you care? But think about it if the government has your Visa bill, they can tell whether you drink, whether you smoke, what restaurants you go to, what magazines or books do you read? What doctors do you see? Do you buy medicine? Do you gamble?

All of these things can be determined. Not only can they determine stuff directly from your phone bill and directly from your Visa bill, they now have the ability to merge all of this information. Apparently, they have the ability to collect your contact list and sometimes they’re collecting this in a way that’s somewhat nefarious.

We’re supposed to be spying on foreigners, foreigners that might attack us. I’m all for that. But what happens is there’s a lot of data that goes in and out of the country. In fact, sometimes an e-mail from New Jersey to Colorado might go through a server in Brazil.

Once it gets to a server in Brazil, they cannot only look at your metadata, how long and who you talked to, the content is now available. It all gets scooped up. It is all being analyzed. They’re doing the social network of who your friends are.

Some have said that this could potentially have a chilling effect on the first amendment. There was a time in our country, not too long ago in the lifetime of most of us, when if you had called the NAACP that you might not want your neighbors to know.

If you were a member of the NAACP, you might not want your neighbors to know. If you were calling the ACLU or a member of the ACLU you might not want neighbors to know. It can have a chilling effect on your expression of your speech, who you associate with and whether or not you are fearful to have association with people because you’re fearful that that knowledge might be known by the government.

People say, well, certainly that would never happen. During the civil rights era, many of the civil rights leaders were spied upon illegally by the government through illegal wiretaps. Many Vietnam War protesters were also spied upon illegally by the government.

The reason we have the fourth amendment is to have checks and balances. Everything that’s great about our country are checks and balances. So when you — let’s say you have a rapist or a murderer in Washington, D.C. Today and let’s say it’s 3:00 in the morning and police come to the house and think the rapist or murderer is inside.

They don’t just break the door down. If there is no noise or imminent danger they stand outside and get on their cell phone and call a judge. And almost always the judge grants a warrant and then the police go in. But why do you want that to happen?

Sometimes people come up to me and say I’m a policeman, I work for the F.B.I., many of my friends are policemen, don’t you trust us? It isn’t about the individual. Laws aren’t about whether we trust one person or your brother is a policeman or your brother would never do anything wrong.

It’s not about your brother. It’s not about your friend. It’s about the potential for there being a rotten apple, someone who would take that power and abuse their power. We have laws not nor most of us, it’s for the exception. It’s for the something out of the ordinary.

But it’s also to prevent systemic bias from entering into the situation. So, for example, there was a time in the south when it might have been that a white person from the government might have decided they were going into the home of a black person just because of racial bias.

You get rid of bias by having checks and balances, by always saying you have to ask somebody else for permission. When we were leading up to the war for our Independence in about 1761, I believe, James Otis was arguing before the courts and he was arguing against something called writs of assistance.

Writs of assistance were a type of warrant but they were a generalized warrant. No one’s name was on there, they just said you’re welcome to search anybody’s house to make sure they’re paying for the stamp tax. You wonder why the colonists hated the stamp tax?

It wasn’t just the tax. It was the fact that the government could break the door down and come in and riffle through their papers. Writs of assistance were something called a general warrant. This same battle had gone on in common law in England and developed as one of our precious rights we actually kept from the English tradition.

John Adams wrote about James Otis fighting against these general warrants and said that it was the spark that led to the American Revolution. This is how important this is. The Fourth Amendment was a big, big deal to our founders. The right to privacy as Justice Brandeis said, the most cherished of rights, is a big, big deal.

We shouldn’t be so fearful that we’re willing to relinquish our rights without a spirited debate. The debate over the PATRIOT Act, which enshrines all of this and got this started. Goes on about every three years or so. It has a sunset provision. It is set to expire in the next few days. But we are mired in a debate over trade. There’s another debate over the highway bill and the word is we won’t get any time to actually debate whether or not we’re going to abridge the Fourth Amendment.

Whether or not we’re going to accept something that one of the highest courts in our land has said is illegal. Are we going to accept that without any debate? I for one say that there needs to be a thorough debate. A thorough and complete debate about whether or not we should allow our government to collect all of our phone records all of the time. In England about the time of James Otis there was another man by the name of John Wilkes.

And I learned about this story in reading my colleague, Senator Lee’s book recently. John Wilkes was — he was a rabble-rouser, he was a dissenter, some called him a libertine. I don’t know about his morals but he wasn’t afraid of the king. And the king was becoming more and more powerful at that time, one of the complaints we had as well.

And so John Wilkes began his own newspaper and it was called the North Briton and he labeled the numbers. The one at this time became the North Briton number 45, became so famous throughout England it was also part of our idiom, part of our language in the United States. Everybody knew what 45 was if you mentioned it.

But he wrote something about the king. He basically wrote what would be an op-ed in our day and he made the mistake of sort of saying that the king’s behavior, the prime minister’s behavior was the equivalent of prostitution. This did not make the king very happy. And so the king wrote out a warrant for the arrest of anybody that had to do with the writing of this North Briton number 45.

But the warrant didn’t have anybody’s name on it. It was a generalized warrant. He said arrest anybody. So they broke down John Wilkes’ door, they rifled through and ruined the contents of his house, arrested him, put him in Irons and took him to the tower of London. They did the same to 49 other people.

But John Wilkes wasn’t about to take this lying down so John Wilkes actually then decided that he would sue the king. I tried doing the same thing but I tried suing the president. It hasn’t gone so well. But the thing is that everybody ought to think that they have the ability and the equality to sue even our leaders.

So he sued the king but something remarkable happened. This is in the early 1760’s. When he sued the king, actually won. I think the award was like a thousand pounds, which would be a significant sum of money for us in today’s terms. But it was a big victory. It was part of the discussion going on simultaneously over here with James Otis.

It was a big, big deal. So often my party, we do such a great job talking about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms and I’m all for that. But the thing is, I don’t think you can adequately protect the Second Amendment unless you protect the Fourth Amendment. The right to privacy, the right to in your house, your house is your castle, the right to not have your castle invaded is so important.

I’ll give you an example. A few years ago, a lot of people think we’ll be safer if we collect gun records so they collected all the gun records and had them in Westchester County near New York City. But then a newspaper decided they would just publish them. They really didn’t think this through but you can see the danger of what happens when the government has records and then releases them to everybody.

Imagine if you’re a woman who has been abused or beaten by her husband, has left him, she lives in fear of him finding her and now the registration comes out and says where she lives and that she has a gun or worse yet, where she lives and that she doesn’t have a gun. Think of our prosecutors and our judges.

I know many of them who put bad people away and many of them have concealed carry. Many of them travel to work, the security meets them in the parking lot and they go to work but they worry. We’ve had sheriffs and we’ve had prosecutors killed in Kentucky because the criminals were angry they were locked up.

We don’t want all of our records by the government to be put out there in public for everybody to know where we live and whether we have a gun or not. So you can see why the issue of privacy is not a small issue. It is a big issue, incredibly important to our founding fathers. Some have said it’s too late, it’s too late to even get this back.

There have been articles written in the last few weeks that say whether the PATRIOT Act expires or not, the government will just keep on doing what they’re doing. In fact, there is a provision in the PATRIOT Act that says any investigation already begun before the deadline can go on in perpetuity.

The other thing is that there are people now writing — there was a John Nappier Thyme, the internet watchdog for this program, who wrote that he believes that the Executive Order 12333 is really allowing all this bulk collection under what the president says are article 2 authorities.

Now, article 2 gives the president, the executive branch, different powers. But these aren’t unlimited powers. Some think they are. Some say the president has the absolute power when it comes to war. Well, actually article 2 actually comes after article 1 and in article 1, section 8, the president was told that he doesn’t get to initiate war.

The most basic of powers with regard to war, were not actually given to the president, they were given to Congress. What is sad about this, what’s going on now is that Congress hasn’t shown I think sufficient interest in what the executive branch does on a host of things, whether it be regulation, whether it be the enormous bureaucracy but really so much power has shifted and gone from Congress and wound up in the executive.

It’s the same way with intelligence. We have intelligence committees but the question is are they asking sufficient questions. Now, there are some, Senator Wyden has been a leader in this and he and I have worked together, but he’s really been the leader because he’s been on the intelligence committee and he has more information really than the rest of us do.

But he’s at times been hamstrung because once you know information, if it’s told to you in a classified setting, you’re not allowed to talk about it. Sometimes it actually makes sense if you want to speak out not to actually learn through the official channels but read on the internet because if you learn about it through official channels you can’t say anything about it even if the government is lying about it.

We’re talking about an enormous amount of information. We’re talking about all of your phone records, all of the time. Now, recently there was some complaint by people in the newspaper and they said, well, the government’s really only getting a third of your records, they’re not getting enough of your records. Some want them to get more of your records.

The objective evidence shows, though, we really have never gotten anyone independently, not found any terrorist independently of this. But still some people are so fearful they’re like how could we get terrorists, we’ll be overrun with terrorists and ISIS will be in every drugstore and in every house in America if we don’t get rid of the Constitution, if we don’t let the Fourth Amendment lapse, if we don’t just let everybody pass out warrants.

That’s what we do under the PATRIOT Act. The PATRIOT Act allows the police to write their own warrants. This was one of the fundamental separations that we did with the Fourth Amendment. This was probably the most important thing we did, was to separate police power from the judiciary, to have a check and a balance so you would never get systemic bias, you would never get political or religious or racial bias in your judicial system.

We separated these powers. But we now let the police write their own warrants. It’s a special form of police, it’s the F.B.I., but they are domestic police. The F.B.I. Is allowed to write their own warrants. These are called national security letters and they don’t have to be signed by a judge. There is no probable cause.

If they come into your house there is no ability for you to complain. In fact, sometimes they are now coming into our houses without us knowing about it. This is called a sneak and peek warrant. And like everything else the government says we’ll be over run with terrorists if we don’t let the government quietly sneak into your house when you’re gone and put listening devices, search through your papers and read all your stuff while you’re gone.

You don’t have to have probable cause necessarily for these. It’s a lower standard. But we’re letting the F.B.I. write this without a judge reviewing it. I have a friend who is an F.B.I. agent. I play golf with him. He’s like don’t you trust him? I do, I trust him, but I don’t trust everybody. Madison said if government were comprised of angels, we wouldn’t need laws. Patrick Henry said the Constitution is about restraining the power of government.

It isn’t about the vast majority of good people who work in government. It’s about preventing the bad apple, it’s about preventing the one bad person that might get into government and decide to abuse the rights of individuals. Some say, well, the N.S.A. has never abused anyone’s rights. That may or may not be true.

They’re giving us the information. We don’t get to independently look at the information. They’re telling us. It’s the same group they saying they weren’t doing bulk collection of data at all but presuming they are telling us the truth it isn’t really the end of the story because the story should be that we don’t what allow the abuse of power to happen.

As the debate unfolded the first time for the patriot act, something occurred that happens frequently around here. There’s not enough time. Hurry up, hurry up, there’s not enough time. It’s kind of like the debate right now. The patriot act, I’m not sure unless we insert ourselves at this moment — that we’ll have any debate over it.

It’s been set to expire for three years. We’ve known it was coming. And the question is, do we not have enough time because we just don’t care enough? We’re going to relinquish our rights or constrict our rights through the bill of rights even though we know it’s coming up and have to do something else that occupies all of our time?

Senator Wyden and I have a series of amendments. Our amendments would try to reform some of this. Our amendments would say that NSL’s, national security letters, can’t be just signed by the police, that they would have to go to a judge. And people argue, well, how would we catch terrorists? The same way we catch other people who are dangerous, murders and rapists and anybody in our society.

In fact, when you look at the warrant process for criminal warrants, warrants are almost never turned down, but just that simple check and balance of having the police call a judge is one of the fundamental aspects of our jurisprudence. We gave it up so quickly.

We gave it up so quickly on the heels of 9/11 in the fear. But the thing is when the PATRIOT Act came forward; most people didn’t even read it. There was a committee bill, this and that and there was a last-minute substitution. It was given hours and it was simply passed in fear, in a spate of fear. As we look at what happened at that time, I think we now have the ability to look backwards and say is there another way.

When we start with the doctrine that a man’s house or a woman’s house is their castle, it was a very old notion, maybe even dating back to the times of Magna Carta. Our castle now and our papers are a little bit different now, and the Supreme Court hasn’t quite caught up to where we are technologically.

They’re getting there, but this really needs to be debated and discussed at the Supreme Court level. Because the thing is we don’t keep our papers in our house anymore. In fact, we’ve gone to such a paperless society that 90% of your paper, or if you’re under 30 years old, 100% of your paper is held somewhere else.

But the question we have to ask is do you retain a privacy interest in your records? When the phone company holds your records, do they have an obligation to keep them private? Do you retain a privacy interest?

If the government wants the records from the phone company, should they be allowed to write the name Verizon and get all of the records for Verizon? I frankly think that if John Smith has his phone service with Verizon and he is a terrorist, the warrant should say John Smith and go to Verizon, but it’s an individualized warrant. I don’t think we should have generalized warrants.

There are some who want to replace now the bulk collection of records with a different system, where the government doesn’t hold the records but the phone company holds the records. I am also concerned about this.

For one big reason. The recent court case has said now that the patriot act does not justify the collection of records, that it’s actually illegal under that. I’m concerned that since the court is now saying that section 215 doesn’t allow bulk collection, that in trying to reform this, what’s called the U.S.A. Freedom Act, by trying to reform this, we actually will be granting new power to section 215 that the court says is not there.

The court is saying that it stands logic on its head to say that relevance means nothing, that everybody’s record in the whole country could be relevant. We have even changed over time the investigations, whether or not there is a full-blown investigation, the beginning of an investigation. Who gets to decide or define what an investigation is?

The bottom line is though as we look at this and as we move forward, we have to decide whether our fear is going to get the better of us. Once upon a time, we had a standard in our country that was innocent until proven guilty. We’ve given up on so much.

Now people are talking about a standard that is if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Think about it. Is that the standard we’re willing to live under? Think about whether your records as held by the credit card companies, your bank or the phone company, whether you believe that you still have a privacy interest in these.

In the PATRIOT Act, they did something to make it easier to collect records and to override your privacy agreement. If you read the nitty-gritty of any of these agreements that you have when you use a search engine or you’re on the Internet, you do voluntarily say your information will be shared in an anonymous way but they promise they’re not giving your name to somebody.

The phone company has the same sort of privacy arrangements, privacy agreements. But what has happened is through the patriot act, we have given them liability protection. And at first blush you might say we have too many damn lawsuits. I’m kind of that way. I’m a physician. We have way too many lawsuits. I’m for cutting back on lawsuits.

But at the same time if you give the phone company or the Internet Company or the credit card company immunity to ignore your privacy agreement, they will. So the new system is instead of the government storing billions and billions of records in Utah, we’re still going to store billions and billions of records in the phone company but still the question is will we access them in a general way.

It says we’re going to do a specific person, but if you look where a person is defined, a person could be a corporation. I don’t think you should have a warrant that says Verizon and gets all the records for all of the customers. The other thing that’s been going on they haven’t been completely honest with, and we have some data on, is that the government is going inside of the software.

They’re asking people like Facebook or demanding people like Facebook that they give them access through their source codes so the government can get in. Now, to Facebook’s credit, Facebook is fighting them and I think more companies now are standing up and trying to fight against this, but the government is going in and in a nefarious way into the code of Facebook and then inserting malware into other people’s Facebook and spreading it throughout the Internet.

The government also is looking at communication between two nodes. So let’s say you communicate with Google and it’s encrypted but when Google has a data center that talks to another data center, there is a place that is non-encrypted and the government is just simply hooking up to the cable and siphoning off records.

There is a danger that you’ll have no privacy left in the end of this. The Fourth Amendment’s very specific. The Fourth Amendment says you have to individualize a warrant; you have to put a name on the warrant. You have to say specifically what records you want. You have to say where they’re located, and then you have to ask a judge for permission.

The sneak and peek warrants that I was talking about before is section 213. It’s now permanent law. We don’t even get a chance to talk about it. We could repeal it, and I will have an amendment to repeal it. This is where the government goes in secretly, and they say well, we need this lower standard because terrorists will get us if we don’t.

Well, we’ve now had it on the books for a decade, and do you know who they’re getting? Drug people. People either buying, selling or using drugs. That’s a domestic crime. Which also leads me to something else about the PATRIOT Act that really bothers me, is that when we first started talking about the standards, going from probable cause, which is what the Constitution has, to articulable suspicions down to relevant, we say well, we’re going to lower standards because we’re going after foreigners.

They’re not Americans and they’re not here, we’re going to lower the standard, and really there can be some debate in favor of that. When we first did it, though, we said that you couldn’t use that information for a domestic crime. And again, sort of an example.

And I asked one of the intelligence folks at one time to answer this and was dissatisfied with the response. Let’s say the government comes into a sneak and peek warrant. They don’t tell you, they’re in your house.

They find out, guess what, you’re not a terrorist but you have paint in your house that you bought through your office, business expense, and you’re painting your house at home, which is a tax violation. It’s a domestic crime, but they got into your house through false pretenses.

They said you were a terrorist, they just were wrong but they found out that you’re not being perfectly honest with your taxes. They’ve gotten in through a lower standard. So ultimately if we let them collect all of your records and we let domestic crime be prosecuted by this, we could have the government sifting through your credit card records, because they say the fourth amendment doesn’t protect records, or your phone records.

Not the content, just all of this data, putting it together and meshing it and deciding that maybe you’re somebody who runs traffic lights by the — by the — your footprint, your digital footprint. The thing is, is now we’re then taking something that was intended to capture foreigners.

The thing is, is now we’re then taking something that was intended to capture foreigners and we’re going to capture people domestically and prosecute them for domestic crime. The specific thing they promised us never to do. So things morph and they get bigger and bigger. We could have a valid debate about whether we have gone too far, but we ought to at least have a debate. Shouldn’t we get together and say let’s have a debate, let’s devote all week to this.

I have been asking for a while to have a full day and have five or six amendments that Senator Wyden and I could put forward and have a full-fledged debate over whether or not the bulk collection of our records is something we should continue to do. Now, I think if you look at this and you say where are the American people on this, well, there has been poll after poll. Well over half the people, maybe well over 60% of the people think the government’s gone too far. But if you want an example of why the Senate or Congress doesn’t represent the people very well or why we’re maybe a decade behind, I’ll bet you it’s 20% of the people here would vote to stop this, to truly just stop it. At the most, where is it 60% or 70% of the public would stop these things.

You’re not well represented. What’s happened is I think the congress is maybe a decade behind the people. I think this is an argument for why we should limit terms. I this is an argument for why we should have more turnover in office, because we get up here and we stay too long and we get separated from the people. The people don’t want the bulk collection of their records. And if we were listening, we’d hear that. The vote in the house, while I don’t think the bill is perfect and I think it may well continue bulk collection, was over 300 votes to end this program, to say we’re no longer going to have bulk collection.

And yet it looks like the majority in this body still says we need bulk collection. In fact, the biggest complaint from the majority in this body is that we’re not collecting enough records, that we need to collect more records. Can you have security and liberty at the same time? I had breakfast with a high-ranking official from our intelligence community, maybe six months ago, and I asked him how much information do you get from metadata and how much do you end up getting from a warrant? He says without question, you get more from a warrant.

People talk about whether we can go one hop or two hop. That means if someone’s — if you’re suspected of terrorism and you called 100 people, if we look at your records, that’s one hop. If we look at the records of the next 100, that’s a second hop. So as you go in, this pyramid gets bigger and bigger until you talk about tens of thousands of people. But as you’re getting farther and farther away from the suspect, I see no reason why you couldn’t keep getting warrants.

If they say the warrants are slow and laborious and there is not a judge, put more judges on the court. If they say they need them at 3:00in the morning, put the judges on 24-hour alert, you can call them at3:00 in the morning. We do it every night all across America, we call judges for a warrant in the middle of the night. I see no reason why you can’t have security and the Constitution at the same time. The president instituted a — it’s called the privacy and civil rights board, and they went through a lot of this, and some of the things that they came up with I think were truly astounding.

The amount of information, I think, is mind-boggling of what’s being sucked up in this. There’s something called section 702 of FISA, and this has allowed them to collect information on Americans who might have been communicating with a foreigner. They say well, that American is probably suspicious. Well, it goes out in ripples and it just becomes this enormous amount, this enormous cache of information. When they looked at some of this recently “The Washington Post” looked at this, they found that nine of ten intercepted conversations were not the intended target.

So I think there was one estimate that in the last year we had 89,000 targets, but if you multiply that and say that’s only 1/10 of what we actually take, you’re now looking at 900,000 records of people that had nothing to do with terrorism. Didn’t really talk to the person. They incidentally talked to a person who talked to a person. It could be the terrorist called Papa John’s and you called Papa John’s, you’re now in the same phone tree network. So it can ripple out in ways. That information shouldn’t be collected, it shouldn’t be put in a database and it shouldn’t be stored because ultimately we’re collecting so much information that it’s all of your information.

One thing that should concern us about simply going from a system where the government collects all these records and stores them in Utah to one where the phone companies are going to do it, is actually some people in the N.S.A. Are acquiescing in this and saying not so bad. That concerns me that the N.S.A. Is saying not so bad. It concerns me that we’re still going to have bulk collection. The debate we really need to have is whether or not your records if someone else is holding them if you still have any privacy, any kind of privacy interest in your records.

I personally think that your phone records are still partially yours in a way or that you have a privacy interest in them. This is going to become very important because your records ultimately they probably won’t be any records in your house, they’re going to be on your phone and then your phone records are connected to the company who owns them.


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