A bipartisan group of California State lawmakers introduced legislation Monday to fight the National Security Agency’s spying on American citizens by prohibiting the State and its localities from providing “material support” to the Federal agency.
The bill would disallow the NSA to access public water and electricity from California utility companies, bar companies with State contracts from working with the NSA and prohibit colleges receiving State funding from building research partnerships with the spy agency.
“I agree with the NSA that the world is a dangerous place,” California Senator Ted Lieu, the bill’s Democratic co-author, said in a statement. “That is why our founders enacted the Bill of Rights. They understood the grave dangers of an out-of-control federal government.”
Because the NSA does not currently operate any large data facilities in the State, the California bill is largely symbolic. Arizona lawmakers have proposed similar legislation.
“I support this bill because I support the Constitution, our Fourth Amendment rights and our freedoms to live in the United States of America,” California Republican Senator Joel Anderson said.
The California bill draws from the advice of the Turn It Off campaign, an effort to undermine the NSA’s ability to monitor Americans’ phone calls and emails through a variety of State and local efforts. Activist groups behind the effort include the Tenth Amendment Center, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Antiwar.com, Revolution Truth, Downsize DC, the Libertas Institute in Utah and We Texans.
The coalition of advocacy groups is currently urging lawmakers in Utah, where the NSA does operate a massive data collection center, to produce legislation similar to the new California proposal.
Via the Turn It Off website:
The new Utah Data Center, a massive spy complex, requires 1.7 million gallons over (sic) water every single day to operate.
Those massive supercomputers monitoring your personal information are water-cooled. They can’t function without the resources to keep them at operating temperature.
That water is scheduled to be provided by the Jordan Valley River Conservancy District, “a political subdivision of the state of Utah.”
Because of this, a state law can be passed banning this partnership. In short, they can turn the water off.
Utah lawmakers have not yet produced any legislation that would affect the NSA data center in their State.