RNC: We Hate the NSA, and Republican Lawmakers Should, Too

The Republican National Committee, in an olive branch to libertarian influences, adopted a resolution Friday calling on Republican lawmakers to more boldly fight to kill the NSA’s surveillance programs.

Faith and Freedom Coalition 2011, Reince Priebus
National Journal
Dustin Volz
Add to Briefcase
Dustin Volz
Jan. 24, 2014, 10:46 a.m.

The week just keeps get­ting bet­ter for Ed­ward Snowden and his like-minded, anti-sur­veil­lance com­pat­ri­ots. The Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee passed a res­ol­u­tion Fri­day ur­ging Re­pub­lic­ans in Con­gress to pass le­gis­la­tion that would re­strict the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency’s sweep­ing data-col­lect­ing muscle.

The short, 500-word pro­clam­a­tion es­pouses sev­er­al liber­tari­an ideals be­fore ask­ing Re­pub­lic­an law­makers to form a spe­cial com­mit­tee to in­vest­ig­ate do­mest­ic sur­veil­lance prac­tices and “hold ac­count­able those pub­lic of­fi­cials who are found to be re­spons­ible for this un­con­sti­tu­tion­al sur­veil­lance.”

“The Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee en­cour­ages Re­pub­lic­an law­makers to en­act le­gis­la­tion to amend Sec­tion 215 of the USA Pat­ri­ot Act, the state-secrets priv­ilege, and the FISA Amend­ments Act to make it clear that blanket sur­veil­lance of the In­ter­net activ­ity, phone re­cords, and cor­res­pond­ence — elec­tron­ic, phys­ic­al, and oth­er­wise — of any per­son resid­ing in the U.S. is pro­hib­ited by law and that vi­ol­a­tions can be re­viewed in ad­versari­al pro­ceed­ings be­fore a pub­lic court.”

The res­ol­u­tion bleeds with con­vic­tion, but also could sig­nal a liber­tari­an-lean­ing shift in the way Re­pub­lic­an op­er­at­ives hope to ap­peal to voters in com­ing elec­tions. RNC Chair­man Re­ince Priebus spoke Fri­day at the group’s winter meet­ing in Wash­ing­ton of the GOP’s need to “set a new stand­ard” and be more “con­scious of the tone” the party strikes on policy is­sues. While no doubt a re­sponse to Mike Hucka­bee’s re­marks Thursday that Demo­crats be­lieve “wo­men can’t con­trol their li­bidos,” Priebus and oth­er party lead­ers are look­ing broadly at ways to con­nect to an elect­or­ate they’re fre­quently charged with not be­ing in touch with.

The plat­form is sure to be seen as a boon for the liber­tari­an wing of the GOP and is likely a good sign for Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a po­ten­tial 2016 pres­id­en­tial hope­ful whose cri­ti­cisms of gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance have per­haps been un­rivaled since Snowden’s leaks began last June.

Rep. Jim Sensen­bren­ner, a Wis­con­sin Re­pub­lic­an, is the only law­maker to earn a namedrop in the res­ol­u­tion, which cites his con­dem­na­tion of the gov­ern­ment’s in­ter­pret­a­tion of Sec­tion 215 of the Pat­ri­ot Act as “an ab­use of the law.” Sensen­bren­ner au­thored the post-9/11 Pat­ri­ot Act, which he has re­peatedly said has been mis­in­ter­preted by both the Bush and Obama ad­min­is­tra­tions to jus­ti­fy ever-in­creas­ing col­lec­tion of data vis-a-vis Sec­tion 215’s defin­i­tion of re­cords “rel­ev­ant” to a ter­ror­ism in­vest­ig­a­tion.

He is now cham­pi­on­ing the Free­dom Act, which aims to re­duce bulk data col­lec­tion, in­stall a pub­lic ad­voc­ate in the For­eign In­tel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Court, and lim­it Sec­tion 702 of the For­eign In­tel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Act, a 2008 pro­vi­sion al­low­ing gov­ern­ment to col­lect In­ter­net com­mu­nic­a­tions from people be­lieved to be liv­ing out­side the United States.

The Pri­vacy and Civil Liber­ties Over­sight Board this week blas­ted the gov­ern­ment’s use of Sec­tion 215 for al­low­ing col­lec­tion of “in­form­a­tion without lim­it” and re­com­men­ded the NSA’s col­lec­tion of tele­phone metadata be ter­min­ated. Last week Obama out­lined a series of re­forms that would pre­serve the pro­gram but would take re­ten­tion of the data out of the hands of the gov­ern­ment and place it in­stead with private phone com­pan­ies or some still-un­defined third-party en­tity.

What We're Following See More »
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
2 days ago
UPDATE
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
2 days ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
2 days ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

FAKE NEWS
Trump Goes After The Media
2 days ago
UPDATE

Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."

FBI TURNED DOWN REQUEST
Report: Trump Asked FBI to Deny Russia Stories
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login