Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul sparked applause from a tech-heavy audience Saturday when he criticized the government’s bulk collection of data but drew a more tepid response for his opposition to so-called net neutrality.

Appearing at a tech start-up office space in the South of Mission district, Paul reiterated his stance against the National Security Agency collecting and storing data on nearly every American’s phone calls. The practice, aimed at preventing terrorism, has divided Republican presidential candidates.

Tech entrepreneurs, typically zealous in guarding their online privacy, welcomed Paul’s pledge to rein in U.S. intelligence agencies’ broad data captures of phone calls and Internet use.

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