Rand Paul speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff in April in Waukee, Iowa. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty)
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the National Security Agency’s mass phone record collection program is illegal, and Rand Paul was positively ecstatic about it.
A vocal NSA critic, the Republican senator kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign last month with a pledge to put a stop to the agency’s formerly secret practice of collecting data from U.S. citizens in bulk. Though insistent that it will ultimately be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to end the spying program, Paul praised the appeals court ruling as a “step in the right direction” and a “monumental decision for all lovers of liberty” on Thursday.
To celebrate this monumental decision, Paul announced an impromptu flash sale on his “NSA Spy Cam Blocker” via Twitter.
To celebrate today’s ruling we’ve lowered the cost of the NSA blocker in our campaign store! Get yours now >>> https://t.co/BGuKygqBxA
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul)
The small piece of Rand-branded plastic, fitted to cover front-facing laptop and tablet cameras through which the NSA is reportedly able to surreptitiously record audio and take pictures, is just one of the many items available at Paul’s campaign website.
Launched when the Kentucky senator announced his candidacy for president, Paul’s online store is something like the presidential campaign version of a museum gift shop or college bookstore, selling buttons, bumper stickers, mugs, apparel and other standard items as well as a bag toss game setup, Rand-themed covers for iPhones, laptops, and even Beats by Dre headphones, as well as a $1,000 signed copy of the U.S. Constitution.
The store also has a “Hillary” section, peddling anti-Clinton T-shirts and bumper stickers, a “Liberty not Hillary” eyesight chart, and “Hillary’s Hard Drive,” a $99.95 novelty email server commemorating the Democratic presidential candidate’s private email scandal.
A spokesperson for Paul’s campaign was unable to say Friday just how many spy cam blockers were sold Thursday. But despite Rand’s tweets warning that the sale would end at midnight, the item, regularly for sale at $15, still carried a $10 price tag as of Friday afternoon, meaning that both Paul supporters and anyone else concerned about potential government surveillance still have a chance to get in on the deal.