Turn off the NSA’s power campaign underway

A campaign which aims to turn off the electricity to the NSA so that it can’t store data on citizens is in full swing.

The campaign has started in Washington and appears to be part of a partisan effort to rein in the country’s Men in Black.

Washington became the first state with a physical NSA location to consider the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, designed to make life extremely difficult for the massive spy agency.

The Bill, which has the catchy title HB2272, has been designed by Republican David Taylor and Democrat  Luis Moscoso. It was introduced to the house in the dead of night and is based on model language drafted by the OffNow coalition.

It would make it the policy of Washington “to refuse material support, participation, or assistance to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, or order which purports to authorise, the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant”.

It would mean that state and local agencies would not give any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction. Communist countries like the US have government-owned utilities and these would be prevented from providing water and electricity. 

Cray, which builds supercomputers for the agency would not be allowed to supply them anymore.

If the bill passes, it would set in motion actions to stop any state support of the Yakima centre as long as it remains in the state, and could make Cray ineligible for any contracts with the state or its political subdivisions.

Any information gathered without a warrant by the NSA and shared with law enforcement would be inadmissible in state courts. Universities would be forbidden to serve as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds.

A few states are considering similar laws. Lawmakers in Oklahoma, California and Indiana have already introduced similar legislation, and a senator in Arizona has committed to running it there.  However, since they do not actually have an NSA facility it their states it is more like showing off.

The NSA operates a listening centre on the Army’s Yakima Training Centre  and is in Taylor’s district, and he said he cannot sit idly by while a secretive facility in his own backyard violates the rights of people everywhere.