Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced his intent to run for United States President in 2016 on Tuesday, although the video of the announcement is currently offline due to a copyright claim filed on behalf of the song it used. In the meantime, supporters can access an online store full of Rand-branded merch. There, next to political-support knickknacks like yard signs and bumper stickers, shoppers can find a heretofore uncommon accessory in the political-fundraiser category: a “webcam blocker.”
Or, more specifically, an “NSA spy cam blocker,” which retails for $15 and comes with a giant “RAND” logo. “That little front-facing camera on your laptop or tablet can be a window for the world to see you—whether you know it or not!” the listing’s description reads. The 1.5 mm-thick item, which is “made with high-grade plastic,” is advertised as ideal for your laptop, smart TV, and Xbox Kinect, and it includes a plastic slider so that users can temporarily get Paul’s face out of the way for a Facetime call. However, it doesn’t include any accessories to dampen or block your device’s microphone; perhaps Ted Cruz can fill that fundraising-tchotchke gap in the near future.
Paul’s Tuesday announcement included criticism of the current administration’s “warrantless searches of Americans’ phones and computer records,” and he told a Louisville, Kentucky crowd that he would “immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance” on his first day if elected President—in spite of criticizing President Obama’s use of executive actions in the same breath. Paul may not get that chance should the Patriot Act provision enabling such surveillance not be renewed by June 1.
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