Bernie Sanders On NSA Leak Revelations: We're Heading For An 'Orwellian Future'

Bernie Sanders On NSA Spying: We're Heading For An 'Orwellian Future'

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.) shared some impassioned criticism of NSA surveillance on MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes" Monday night.

Sanders criticized the "Orwellian" future he sees looming for the United States if it continues to record its citizens' activities in the name of national security.

The Vermont Senator argued that focusing too much on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden -- how he leaked the information and how he'll be dealt with by the US government -- is a distraction from the more fundamental questions raised by his disclosures about the NSA. "The question is what freedom and liberty mean in the United States of America? What does our constitution mean? What kind of country do we want to be?" Sanders said.

"Kids will grow up knowing that every damn thing that they do is going to be recorded somewhere in a file, and I think that will have a very Orwellian and inhibiting impact on our lives," he argued.

Sanders made it clear that he believes terrorism is a serious threat to the United States, but that doesn't mean it's worth sacrificing the bill of rights. "I want our law enforcement people to be vigorous in going after terrorists," Sanders said. "But I happen to believe they can do that without disregarding the constitution of the United States or the civil liberties of the American people."

Sanders is known for his tenacity when it comes to speaking out about his convictions. Perhaps most memorably, in 2010 he spoke for eight and a half hours to filibuster the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Though some top Senators have defended the NSA's gathering of phone logs, Sanders is not the alone among his colleagues in being outraged.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky). said on Sunday that he is weighing whether the NSA's "extraordinary invasion of privacy" can be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Watch the whole segment from Monday's "All In With Chris Hayes" above.

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