Rand Paul: ‘What you do on your cellphone is none of their damned business!’

“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.]

Related articles:
U.S. NSA watching, tracking phone users with Google Maps – January 28, 2014
Apple issues update on U.S. NSA and law enforcement orders – January 27, 2014
Obama’s NSA proposals fall far short of real change – January 17, 2014
U.S. NSA devises radio pathway into computers to conduct surveillance, launch cyberattacks – January 15, 2014
The NSA, Apple’s iPhone and a whole lot of bad reporting – January 8, 2014
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Ex-NSA chief calls for Obama to reject commission’s recommendations to rein in NSA surveillance – December 30, 2013
How the U.S. NSA remotely bugs your Apple iPhone – December 30, 2013
Report: U.S. NSA intercepts computers during shipping to install surveillance malware – December 30, 2013
U.S. NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking – December 11, 2013
Apple, Google, others call for government surveillance reform – December 9, 2013
U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say – October 30, 2013
Obama administration decides NSA spying is ‘essential,’ but oversight of NSA is not – October 8, 2013
Apple’s iPhone 5s with Touch ID seen as protection against U.S. NSA – September 16, 2013
German government: Windows 8 contains U.S. NSA snooping back doors; too dangerous to use – August 23, 2013
Report: NSA can see 75% of U.S. Web traffic, can snare emails – August 21, 2013
NSA can read email, online chats, track Web browsing without warrant, documents leaked by Edward Snowden show – July 31, 2013
Momentum builds against U.S. government surveillance – July 29, 2013
U.S. House rejects effort to curb NSA surveillance powers, 205-217 – July 24, 2013
Obama administration scrambles to shut down imminent U.S. House vote to defund NSA spying – July 24, 2013
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013
Apple, Google, dozens of others push Obama administration to disclose U.S. surveillance requests – July 19, 2013
Secret court agrees to allow Yahoo to reveal its fight against U.S. government PRISM requests – July 16, 2013
How Microsoft handed U.S. NSA, FBI, CIA access to users’ encrypted video, audio, and text communications – July 11, 2013
DuckDuckGo search engine surges 33% in wake of PRISM scandal – June 20, 2013
Yahoo: Since December 2012, we have received up to 13,000 U.S. gov’t requests for customer data – June 18, 2013
Apple: Since December 2012, we have received U.S. gov’t requests for customer data for up to 10,000 accounts – June 17, 2013
Nine companies, including Apple, tied to PRISM, Obama to be smacked with class-action lawsuit – June 12, 2013
U.S. lawmakers urge review of ‘Prism’ domestic spying, Patriot Act – June 10, 2013
PRISM: Do Apple, Google, Facebook have an ethical obligation not to spy on users? – June 8, 2013
Plausible deniability: The strange and unbelievable similarities in the Apple, Google, and Facebook PRISM denials – June 7, 2013
Google’s Larry Page on government eavesdropping: ‘We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday’ – June 7, 2013
Seecrypt app lets iPhone, Android users keep voice calls, text messages away from carriers, government eyes and ears – June 7, 2013
Obama administration defends PRISM data-collection as legal anti-terrorism tool – June 7, 2013
Facebook, Google, Yahoo join Apple in sort-of denying PRISM involvement – June 7, 2013
Report: Intelligence program gives U.S. government direct access to customer data on Apple servers; Apple denies – June 6, 2013


    1. When did this place become a haven for libertarians? MDN has always been in love with Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, but the comments on this article are surprising.

        1. someone agreed with you from long ago:

          “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
          ― George Washington

          your mind keeps nice company.

    1. Wow… Matt, does he like an idiot in that video?

      Low information voter means low information. You need to listen to what people (specifically politicians) have to say and quit listening to sound bytes and talking points.

      1. lol. I love how all Paulites assume anyone who doesn’t agree lockstep with their libertarian orthodoxy is automatically a low information voter. Not at all condescending.

        Thanks, but I also think he’s an idiot and there is nothing low information about this voter.

        1. I don’t suffer fools gladly Jerry. Whether you agree with Rand Paul or not, he’s no idiot.
          Saying that just makes you seem like a low information voter (and if you believe it, you ARE a ;low information voter (if you vote))

          1. “..he’s no idiot.”

            Paul went to Brazoswood High School and was on the swimming team and played defensive back on the football team. Paul attended Baylor University from fall 1981 to summer 1984. He was enrolled in the honors program at Baylor, and had scored approximately in the 90th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test. Paul left Baylor early when he was accepted into the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned an M.D. in 1988, and completed his residency in 1993.

          2. You can all debate whether or not he’s an idiot, but he’s repulsive and I despise his politics. The low information voters are the ones who like him because the defective clock is right twice a day.

            Last but not least, politics is going to be the death of this page.

            1. What’s so bad about his politics that it’s worth despising? Despising is a very powerful and evil word must be pretty bad and based on a lot of information.

          3. LMAO. You don’t suffer fools gladly, yet like the fool you follow you’re happy to make brave declarations and bold determinations based on three lines in a comment.

            Unlike you, I know about your boy. His ideas are bad and they’re not going to gain traction with anyone outside the conspiracy of nut jobs who hang on his every word, which nothing you say here has any chance of changing. Suffer that.

        1. A sound bite is a small snippet of video or audio that (typically) are taken out of context
          That was a complete and total video and represents (pretty accurately and plainly) Senator Rand’s opinion on the matter.

          What is frightening is that you either don’t know the difference, or pretend to not know when it suits your argument.

          1. No a sound bite is just that, a portion of sound. “Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty” for example. It doesn’t need to be taken out of context. It only needs to be enough for those “low information voters” to have something to grasp on to.

            No. What is frightening are your sound bites.

      1. last August:

        What’s Rand Paul doing during August recess? Performing pro bono eye surgeries for his constituents, of course.
        Paul, an eye surgeon by trade, will perform pro bono surgeries on three patients in Paducah, Ky., next Wednesday, something that he’s done a couple of dozen times since entering the senate. “He’s really done them all over Kentucky,” explained Dan Bayens, a spokesman for the senator. It’s cataract surgery that the Kentucky Republican tends to perform. And he uses local doctors and ophthalmologists that he has relationships with to link up with patients who are uninsured or underinsured.
        While Paul’s patients gain better vision, the senator is able to keep his skills sharp. “That’s part of what doing the surgeries is about,” explained Bayens. “If he didn’t do this he wouldn’t be able to keep up his license.” As a senator, Paul can’t have another gig on the side. (Though he did try to negotiate with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on that one, to no avail, Bayens said.)
        “I think the main reason is he really enjoys it,” Bayens said of performing the free surgeries. “And I think, to be honest, he always says he’s not sure if he’ll do politics forever, he really loves being an eye surgeon and that’s something he sees himself returning to once this career is over.”

        1. further…
          It seems Paul has always been involved in charitable work, founding the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic in 1995, which provides surgery and eye exams to families and people in need, and through the Children of the Americas program, he provided free eye surgery to children from around the world. He was also the former president and longtime member of the service organization Lions Clubs International.

          1. Doing charitable work justifies one’s existence? This nonsense is brought to you by Christianity: Charity is a virtue according to the Christian religion. Doing something for yourself by your own effort does not earn you any moral points. But doing something for someone you do not know, earns you moral points. This is anti-self standard is evil!

          2. And when you’re rich, you can do stuff like that. Good for him, and I mean that sincerely.

            Still doesn’t mean his politics are good or that he’s a good candidate for any particular public office.

        2. Bullshit. He does it because it’s great press and makes him seem like a really nice, caring, giving guy. That’s useful to convince stupid people to vote for him.

          Heck, he might even BE a nice, caring guy, but giving away free eye surgeries does not qualify one to be president, or even Senator, for that matter. Neither does *being* an eye surgeon.

      2. “Libertarian ideology rejects most of the modern regulatory systems that protect consumers, because everyone should be responsible for determining whether the hamburger contains E. coli on his own. But does that do-it-yourself dogma apply to the regulation of medicine, too? If you’re Dr. Rand Paul, practicing ophthalmologist, the answer is emphatically yes.

        According to an amusing story in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal, the Kentucky Republican Senate candidate bills himself as a “board-certified” physician even though he is not actually certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology — the only recognized body that certifies doctors in his specialty.

        Paul’s only certification was provided instead by something called the National Board of Ophthalmology, which is very convenient because he operates that organization himself. As the Courier-Journal explains drily, the American Board of Ophthalmology, which maintains a fully staffed headquarters in Philadelphia, has existed for roughly a century and currently lists about 16,000 doctors on its rolls. (Most hospitals and insurance companies strongly prefer doctors who are board-certified because certification indicates that they have kept up with changes in technology, best practices and so on.) The National Board of Ophthalmology has existed since 1999, when Paul “founded” it, lists no more than seven doctors, and its address is a post-office box in Bowling Green, Ky. He had claimed to be certified by both boards, but Courier-Journal reporter Joseph Gerth quickly discovered that claim was false.
        Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/2010/06/14/rand_2/)

        1. Very interesting article, thanks for posting. I noticed that two Rand Paul fanboys already down-voted your post, though…can’t stand the truth, I guess…

      3. Correction. He’s a SELF CERTIFIED eye surgeon. He, and 200 of his closest friends, created their own certification board, the National Ophthalmology Board, the protest actions taken by the legitimate Ophthalmology board, the American Board of Ophthalmologists. It’s not hard to be certified when you set your own certification standards.

        1. I watched the proceedings from beginning to end. Fascinating. And Rand Paul condensed it very well to a three minute speech. Congress is embarrassing. And the current administration has taken this country down even further. He couldn’t win but he would certainly get my vote if he ever ran for president.

  1. Obama was the useful idiot sold to the “people” by the mainstream media salesmen and saleswomen.

    Until or unless the low-information American voter learns to ignore MSM propaganda and vote for what’s really in their best interests, America will continue to proceed down the shitter.

    95% of black American voters voted in lockstep for Obama and what did they get for it? Black teen unemployment at 32.4%, 383.6% higher than the national unemployment rate. No wonder they’re out trying to steal producers’ iPhones in order to finance their drug deals.

      1. Under Obama, average overall unemployment among blacks increased to 12.9% from 10.6% under Bush.

        During the past fifty years, American black unemployment has fallen below 10% only nine times, five of which were during the George W. Bush administration:

        1973, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, and in 2007

        However, we must remember that the unemployment rate is largely meaningless without factoring in labor force participation. If you dissuade (lack of jobs) or persuade (social welfare, incl. 99-week benefits) enough job seekers out of the market, you can make “unemployment” look like it’s on the “decrease.” See: Obama.

        “The drop in labor force participation was sharpest for African Americans, who saw a decline of 0.3 percentage points to 60.2 percent, the lowest rate since December of 1977. The rate for African American men fell 0.7 percentage points to 65.6 percent, the lowest on record. The decline in labor force participation was associated with a drop in the overall African American unemployment rate of 0.5 percentage points to 11.9, and a drop of 0.6 percentage points to 11.6 percent for African American men.” — Economist Dean Baker, PBS

        Please read further: Black Labor Force Participation Rate Under Obama Hits Rock Bottom – Lowest Level Ever Recorded

        1. Lying with facts. Disgusting.
          You are acting as if everyone here doesn’t know that the entire country had a huge unemployment problem after the big banks destroyed the economy in 2008. I blame BOTH parties for being bribed into letting those banks do whatever they want, since I haven’t been duped by the two party game.
          Acting as if Obama was responsible for the economic crash of 2007-2008 is ludicrous. Blame him for what he IS (or has been doing): continuing the Bush spy programs that violate our rights, suppressing peaceful protesters through militarized police attacks, ramping up the illegal drone assassination and war crime programs, not prosecuting ANY of the criminals at the big banks, and much more.

          I think Obama is terrible. Just don’t dishonestly pretend the Republicans are any better, especially when it comes to caring about unemployment. That’s ridiculous.

    1. “Low information”

      That always makes me smile. It is always stated by someone parroting the conservative media. You are a bad information voter. And you are full of it. You cannot help it, though. The conservative media has made you soft in the head. Just listen to Ted Cruz: GOP leaders think you are soft in the head and hate to tell you the truth.

      1. My information is always backed up with links to sources, usually from government or non-conservative sources. Because of that, my information is hardly ever questioned, even here, because it is sound. The people who do not like my comments are either statists, socialists, insane, ignorant, too touchy-feely for their own or anyone else’s good, or all of the above.

        Your “information” is nothing but baseless insults. You’ve proven nothing with your “information” but your own ignorance.

        I realize that if Dems/Libs/Progs lose the lockstep black American vote, they are doomed and that you are, for some unknown reason, upset about that.


        – Under Obama, the labor force participation rate for African American men fell 0.7 percentage points to 65.6 percent, the lowest on record.

        – Despite record low participation rates, black teen unemployment under Obama stands at 32.4%, 383.6% higher than the national unemployment rate.

        – Under Obama, average overall unemployment among blacks increased to 12.9% from 10.6% under Bush.

        – During the past fifty years, American black unemployment has fallen below 10% only nine times, five of which were during the George W. Bush administration: 1973, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, and in 2007.

        1. You assume correlations. You need to find another pass time. I could post a random stream of positive things that have happened since Obama was elected, but it boils down to whether or not you “believe” he is responsible for those things or not. You are kidding yourself with your facts. And you don’t even attempt to show causality. You just assume it. You are the hardest working idiot I know.

          1. Excellent point. I also love how Republicans like to say “Obama hasn’t accomplished much,” yet never want to talk about how the Republican-controlled House has voted against damn near everything he has proposed…even voting against paying our bills (multiple times), trying to default the country and launch us into another recession.

  2. ‘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.”


    1. Look it’s not about no regulation but rather bad. Take for instance the FDIC. We’re still paying for all the stupid Gov. regs. and phony accounting tricks from the S&L meltdown of decades ago. Wake up! What we need is real regulation such as a return to Glass Stegal

      1. Rand would dismantle all oversight of banks and industry. After all there is no greater benevolence than the invisible, divine hand of a free market demanding submission to profit and the almighty dollar. Or is that gold coin?

        1. last October:

          Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.; shown) informed Senate leadership that he intends to oppose President Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, and he plans to use the process to draw attention to his efforts to audit the country’s central bank and the cartel that controls it.

  3. As long as Rand doesn’t spout any neocon philosophies, I think he will be good. Of course, if he maintains his libertarian ideas (liberty & freedom, stay out of the business of other countries, and reduce the role of government) and becomes more popular as the election gets closer, I suspect a couple things might happen such as:

    1) He gets sucked into some bullshit scandal regarding something from his past (there is a reason NSA tracks everything)
    2) He has an unfortunate accident

    Of course, I’m just a tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy nut.

    1. it has absolutely nothing to do with republican/conservative vs democrat/liberal…let me re-post Derek’s quote of Rand Paul because THIS is what it’s about:

      “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.”

            1. Look, you go ahead and continue to embrace the divisiveness of the horseshit democrat/republican straw man..the principles of individual liberty that Rand espouses, reminiscent of JFK, regardless if you’re democrat, republican, black, white, male, female, homosexual, heterosexual, atheist, catholic, immigrant or native, or even in your case, blind…it is the single most important dignity that humanity can bestow on itself.

            2. nice try but it’s not me who has a divisive partisan avatar even. And it was conservatives who instigated the Patriot act. Where were you then with this liberty thing back then? Certainly not with the liberals who so adamantly apposed it.

            3. the avatar represents my aversion to the Obama’s total disregard for the Bill Of Right, not his fscking political party…it is the same expression as the “Impeach Bush” sign that was in my front yard after passage of The Patriot Act…you are a very shallow individual.

            4. also, I didn’t see any “liberals” standing with me when I was called before the local city council, demanding I take that “Impeach Bush” sign down or when one councilwoman called me a “terrorist lover” post-911. I simply reminded her of the guarantee of free speech in the First Amendment…from the same Bill Of Rights I’m trying to penetrate your thick skull with.

    2. If the liberals weren’t a pack of abject hypocrites, they would have abandoned Obama the day he signed an extension of the Patriot act. That SHOULD have cost him the nomination for the second term.


      1. As long as people’s idea of fixing government is to blame half of it (i.e. one party or the other) for what the whole thing did, government is never going to get fixed.

        1. Agreed, but the issue isn’t “fixing” government, or assigning blame for political gain. The issue is using government as it is to effect the greater good.

      2. What cracks me up is that many of the people who damn Obama for extending are the same ones who applauded Bush for signing it in the first place…and still defend him.

  4. Tracking phones, Internet activity and soon every car. “But it is for the good of the country.”

    Until … you say something or start something a department or individual in government doesn’t like … OR … he sees a way to profit from.

    The individual gets ground down under these sorts of Stassi conditions.

  5. Does anyone in their right might believe that Rand Paul or any other Republican would do anything vaguely differently from what the current administration is doing? Both parties represent large corporate interests – different corporate interests, perhaps – but corporate interests none the less. Let us not forget that the massive expansion of the surveillance state that we are now witnessing began after 9/11 at a time when there was a Republican in the White House. Which party, after all, presided over the creation of the Department of Homeland Security?

  6. Just one more in a LONG line of MDN hit-whoring with articles that are at best very marginally Apple/Mac related. Perhaps one day they’ll change this behavior. Until then I will continue to withhold my support of this website.

    If you agree with me that articles like this and the torrent of acrimonious comments they repeatedly engender lowers the value that the MDN website provides, I hope you will join me in communicating my displeasure by not supporting this website.

  7. Yea… and as a candidate this kind of position is easy to adopt. But when you are the president, and you know that you are going to be held personally responsible for the safety of 300 million Americans, I suspect that you tend to be a little more sympathetic to the needs of the NSA. Not saying this is right, just saying that it’s reality.

  8. Both Ron and Rand Paul are like stopped clocks, they are correct twice a day. “Rand Paul: ‘What you do on your cellphone is none of their damned business!’ That is an over simplification, to say the least. There needs to be some sort of oversight on how, when, why, where and who can access a person cell phone and it’s contents. Too many people who have had little or no need for that information have had access to that information. Even with rules and regulations and laws governing this there is little, if any, oversight to combat this problem. All that can and may be said is this on that. If information is transmitted in the clear than anybody can listen, receive, intercept your communications without your knowledge or approval. And it has come to a point where normal encryption will not keep the goo/bad guys from listening in our your devices.

  9. What if: a dedicated anarchist was in earshot of Rand’s statement, and assumed that by “their” Rand meant the
    federal government. Rand is a senator. So if later the anarchist is arrested for some crazy thing that, if he had
    not been caught via cell phone surveillance, would’ve resulted in death and destruction. Could the anarchist then sue Rand for stating, as a policy representative of the federal government, for misleading him (the anarchist) that
    if what he was doing on his cellphone was “none of
    (the federal government damn business” then why
    did Rand’s employer arrest (the anarchist)?
    I mean, Paul didn’t sue the president on an equally
    flimsy premise? Or did he sue Obama personally?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.