“A sustained noise that could best be called a hoot and holler greeted Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at the mention of his name, before he took the stage at Friday’s Conservative Political Action Conference and declared that cell phone records sought by government agencies were ‘none of their damned business!’” David Martosko reports for The Daily Mail. “The crowd simultaneously drank it in and shouted it out, making Paul the star of the Conservative Political Action Conference’s second day and giving him – by far – the event’s loudest applause. ‘If you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance’ from the federal government, Paul warned in his biggest moment. ‘I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damned business!’”

“Rand Paul tapped into the libertarian undercurrent that has percolated throughout CPAC – and found its voice Friday afternoon,” Martosko reports. “‘Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty,’ he said. ‘You might think I’m talking about electing Republicans. I’m not: I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty… It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils,’ he said, jabbing at both Democrats and establishment Republicans.”

“Paul put his concerns about the NSA on front pages with a class-action lawsuit last month – on behalf, he said, of hundreds of millions of Americans who have telephones. The federal government, the lawsuit alleges, has taken the idea of an individual search warrant and expanded it to apply to massive groups of citizens at the same time,” Martosko reports. “‘I believe this is a fundamental constitutional question: Can a single warrant be applied to millions of Americans?’ he asked.
‘No!’ replied some in the audience. ‘I took a stand,’ he said. ‘I sued the president.’ Jabbing the White House, Paul asked his audience, ‘How will history remember Barack Obama? …I don’t question President Obama’s motives,’ he said after the chuckles subsided, ‘but history will record his timid defense of liberty.’”

“Obama has sought to expand the National Security Agency’s authority to collect and keep broad swaths of telephone call metadata – information including callers and recipients, dates and times, and call durations. Libertarians like Paul believe the government isn’t entitled to indiscriminately snoop on citizens who are not already the targets of criminal investigations,” Martosko reports. “The Obama administration has taken the position that phone records don’t belong to individual Americans, but to the telecommunications providers who own the phone networks – clearing the way for a single search warrant to cover millions at once. ‘Mr. President,’ he yelled in mid-crescendo at an imaginary Obama, ‘we will not let you run roughshod over our rights. We will challenge you in the courts. We will battle you at the ballot box. Mr. President, we will not let you shred our Constitution!’”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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