Sen. Paul, Rep. Blackburn join suit over privacy rights - - The News for South Mississippi

Sen. Paul, Rep. Blackburn join suit over privacy rights

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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, is at the center of renewed chatter about a possible 2016 presidential bid after he came out on top during an informal straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

But, for now, Paul is partnering with U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, on a different crusade intended to protect citizens' privacy.

They have joined a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration and the NSA after revelations that the NSA collected phone records and other information from millions of Americans.

"The reason we did a class-action suit is to illustrate the fact that a single warrant is being applied to everyone with a cell phone," Paul said.

Privacy rights advocates insist access to those records should require a warrant with one person's name on it.

"Your records - your phone records, your medical records, your legal records - you maintain ownership in that. If I let you, the phone company, have those records, we have an agreement they will keep them private," Paul said.

Blackburn says the Federal Trade Commission should decide how your data is kept secure.

"One of the things we think it's important to do is rules of the road, so that people know who is going to be the enforcement - not necessarily the regulator, but enforcement - for sharing your privacy," Blackburn said.

Paul and Blackburn have also both taken strong stands against the use of drones to gather information on American soil.

As for a possible run for the White House, Paul was not as firm.

"Maybe. We haven't really decided. My wife and I, the kids, we've been talking about what it would take. It's an incredible endeavor, a big endeavor, and we'll probably make our decision after the elections in 2014," he said.

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