Senator files lawsuit challenging NSA surveillance

Paul joins FreedomWorks in class-action lawsuit against Obama, U.S. officials

U.S. Senator Rand Paul has delivered on promises to file a lawsuit challenging the U.S. National Security Agency's authority to engage in mass surveillance.

Paul, a Kentucky Republican and possible 2016 presidential candidate, joined conservative activist group FreedomWorks in filing the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Lead attorney for the plaintiffs is Ken Cuccinelli, former attorney general and Republican candidate for governor in Virginia.

U.S. President Barack Obama has "publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the Fourth Amendment," Paul said in a statement. "The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants. I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court and I predict the American people will win."

Defendants in the class-action lawsuit include Obama, director of national intelligence James Clapper and NSA director Keith Alexander.

As of late January, a website for the lawsuit, Defendthe4th.com, had about 350,000 people who had signed on as plaintiffs, Paul said then.

An NSA spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for a comment on the lawsuit.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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