Republican senator Rand Paul announced Saturday plans to sue US President Barack Obama over Edward Snowden's revelations of unlawful spying by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Speaking on the Fox News television show Hannity on Friday, Paul said he is urging all US citizens with mobile phones to join a group action aimed at preventing Obama from "snooping on the American people.
“We can defend against terrorism - but that doesn't mean that every single American has to give up their privacy”, he stressed.
The legal action is also aimed at protecting the Fourth Amendment to the US constitution, which prevents unreasonable searches and seizures, and sending a message to the US government that it cannot continue to access ordinary citizens' phone and email records without permission or a warrant, he added.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court renewed the agency's phone collection program in its latest approval of periodic requests since two conflicting court decisions about the program's legality.
The Justice Department on Friday also appealed the ruling of a federal judge who, in a major rebuke for the administration, said the National Security Agency's data collection likely violates the Constitution. In its brief court filing.