Rand Paul Questions Homeland Security On Spying, Fourth Amendment Of The Constitution

According to Wikipedia, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that “prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported…”

Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) grilled Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson over the government’s surveillance capabilities, particularly questioning him about whether the practices adhere to the Fourth Amendment.

According to MediaITE, Paul asked Johnson if he believes the Fourth Amendment “applies to third party records,” specifically those of telephone companies. Johnson said that question is “beyond my competence as secretary of homeland security” to answer intelligently.

“Here’s the problem, though, your agency is in charge of cooperating and being part of this,” Paul said. “And that’s the whole debate we have in our country is over whether we should do this.”

In his earlier testimony, Johnson complained that telephone companies are moving toward more encryption of data. Paul said they are doing that because they feel as if the government is taking records without a warrant.

The talk seemed meaningful.  Whether or not Rand Paul’s position on NSA phone and internet spying remains the same, though that remains to be seen.


Unfortunately, Paul’s position on drone strikes has shifted over time: