NRA Joins Lawsuit Against NSA’s Phone Metadata Collection

    September 5, 2013
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

The NRA is not the first organization that comes to mind when I think of civil liberty organizations. Sure, they fight for Second Amendment rights, but they don’t really get involved with matters concerning the First or Fourth Amendment unless it directly affects gun owners. Well, they now feel that the NSA has crossed a line in that respect.

The Hill reports that the NRA has joined the ACLU’s lawsuit against the federal government concerning the NSA’s phone metadata collection program. If you recall, the metadata collection program was the first revealed by the Snowden leaks, and showed that the government was collecting phone data from every call made on Verizon’s network.

So, why does the NRA have a stake in this? Are they suddenly concerned about the privacy of every American? Well, not really – they’re concerned about the privacy of gun owners as they feel the NSA collecting phone metadata is the same thing as building a national gun registry.

In its filing, the NRA says that Congress, in authorizing metadata collection, has authorized the creation of a gun registry program:

“It would be absurd to think that the Congress would adopt and maintain a web of statutes intended to protect against the creation of a national gun registry, while simultaneously authorizing the FBI and the NSA to gather records that could effectively create just such a registry.”

So, how would the NSA compile a gun registry with the metadata it collects under section 215 of the Patriot Act? Well, metadata tells the agency who a person calls and for how long. The NRA feels that the agency could use this information and point out who owns a gun based upon calls being made to gun shops and firing ranges.

While I think it’s a little absurd to think the NSA wants to create a gun registry, I do agree with the spirit of the NRA’s concern. President Obama and other defenders of the NSA say that metadata doesn’t divulge any personal information and is therefore not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. As the NRA points out, that’s not entirely the case as the NSA could use that metadata to find out which Americans make calls to gun shops. That same technique could be used to find out which Americans make calls to any number of groups and organizations. From there, you spiral into the not-so-silly conspiracy theories of the government looking for signs of dissent based upon calls being made to protest organizations and anti-government groups.

With the NRA’s backing, the UCLA has a lot more power behind its attempt to stall the government’s collection of phone records. Now we can only hope the judge in the matter understands the NRA’s example to be just that – an example of how telling metadata really is.

[h/t: Bjoertvedt/Wikimedia Commons]
  • Reality

    I don’t like guns but I think people should have the right to own a gun. Most people never have seen what a gun can do to a person. Once you see that, you will never want to be around a gun. However, having said that, I applaud this effort by the NRA. I think the NRA sees the writing on the wall for this country.

    At the end of the day, crime is overblown in America. America just makes a heck of a lot of money off of locking people up. That is why we have 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners. Most people talk about crime and prisons but really are ignorant on the subject. They have never talked to a criminal or even gone into a prison ever. Half our prisoners are non-violent and the number of victimless crimes has gone through the rough. We are setting people up at such a large rate because small town police are trying to generate money. Just go down to your local parole and probation office and watch the shear mass of humanity paying fines every week then you will understand. Private prisons and prison industrial plants are listed on the NYSE stock exchange because they are so profitable.

    So, if crime is overstated, what is the reason for all the gun purchases? What I have observed is that people are becoming very afraid of their own government. They see the NSA programs and they know history. People are afraid of what their government is going to do to them. I know many very smart people who are purposely getting dual citizenship right now out of fear of what may come next.

    I don’t own a gun myself and do not have dual citizenship, but this is what I see happening in my community. I am not sure if others have seen this type of stuff to.

  • Bill

    Here’s the theme song of the issue – including shout outs to both the NRA and NSA: That’s MY Metadata! http://youtu.be/k2vexoGMkKA

  • Allan

    I am a Christian, and am writing about what I have learned. I have no intention of offending anyone or any religion. We will all know who was right in the end so please, no bickering about religion

    nice post Reality,

    You sound like a down to earth good person.I would bet you are from the midwest USA.
    The USA is the finest place in the world to live (at least at the time of this printing)

    I have a question for you. I’m going to assume you are married, 3 children, home and 2 cars to take care of with limited but adequate money to take of everything if you watch your spending.
    You feel safe in your home, are are happy? and settled in, but something inside you is saying

    something is wrong! or at least, change is in the air

    It is man’s desire to have a one world government with 2 sets of people. which will be the elite pampered pansies and the other the indentured slaves. depending on our profession we will be allowed to live in a home, or some kind of housing, present a card with a certain amount of money on it to live each month and transportation, all in balance with our profession

    The elite or government will own everything. When they feel we are costing them more than what we can make for them, it will be our supreme duty to report to the ‘soylent green factory’ to be put to (sleep) so the elite can have the best of everything. The sick, poor and disabled will have no purpose so, guess what, off to the soylent green factory with them. The EU has a policy that says there are 2 billion too may people on earth and that is too much for earth to sustain.

    So having feelings of impending doom are not out of the question.

    This is just human nature and has been going on since the beginning of time. If you want to see whats going to happen, just study how Rome fell. it was destroyed from within, because of the elite. They have never learned anything. They just keep trying different techniques to accomplish the impossible.

    In the bible, the tower of babel was mans attempt at a one world government . God demolished it just before it reached fulfilment. all the others up to now have failed. Now they are the verge of fulfilling another try, but it is not going to succeed. God says so in the bible, and He hasn’t been wrong yet!

    But don’t do anything crazy. God has his plan and it is right on target. He is just allowing man to show his true spots, and when this is over, each will get exactly what he deserves, with no high priced lawyer to argue for him (lol)
    We don’t really need any guns ect. WHY? God says He himself is going to do the fighting so that they know who really holds the title to this earth. Read armagedden ect, 100-200 pound hailstones ect will completely destroy the enemy.

    The other side will argue this til the last hailstone drops, but just let them hollar all they want. we will see.

    Yes, change is scary, but there is a purpose for all this.