The Bipartisan Effort to Deprive the NSA of Water and Electricity

John Glaser, January 09, 2014

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The California state senate is considering what is perhaps the coolest piece of legislation in modern America. The bill, introduced by Democrat Ted Lieu and Republican Joel Anderson, would ban all of California from providing “material support” — access to water and electricity — to any NSA facilities inside or outside the state. This could be a huge problem considering that the NSA’s new data center in Utah, for example, requires 1.7 million gallons of water every single day just to stay up and running.

PolicyMic’s Victoria Kim:

“State-funded public resources should not be going toward aiding the NSA or any other federal agency from indiscriminate spying on its own citizens and gathering electronic or metadata that violates the Fourth Amendment,” the bill’s co-author California state Sen. Ted Lieu, said in a statement.

If the bill becomes law, private companies will be sanctioned to provide the NSA with these essential utility services.

Lieu added that the NSA’s surveillance programs pose “a clear and present danger to our liberties.” He said, “The last time the federal government massively violated the U.S. Constitution, over 100,000 innocent Americans were rounded up and interned,” referring to the sordid history of Japanese internment in the U.S.

Republican state Sen. Joel Anderson co-wrote the bill with Lieu. “I support this bill because I support the Constitution, our Fourth Amendment rights, and our freedoms to live in the United States of America,” he said.

News of the bill is refreshing for two reasons. First of all, if state legislatures can summon the will to brazenly defy the NSA like this, than much of my political cynicism is misplaced. Secondly, this is yet another illustration of the bipartisan skepticism of what DC District Court Judge Richard Leon called the NSA’s “Orwellian” programs of constitutional transgression. At the federal level, too, there continues to be cooperation among Republicans like Rand Paul and Justin Amash as well as Democrats like Ron Wyden and Mark Udall to at least truncate the current spying power of the NSA.

With some luck, this bill will pass. And then, I wonder, what will the NSA do with their facilities?




18 Responses to “The Bipartisan Effort to Deprive the NSA of Water and Electricity”

  1. The California State government hasn't done too many intelligent things for the past 50 years, but I'm all for this. Utah needs to do the same.

  2. This is awesome.

  3. Called these senators today to express support for this. This is a fantastic idea.

  4. Here are these senators' phone numbers if you want to express support for the bill:

    Senator Joel Anderson

    Capitol Office
    State Capitol, Room 5052
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: (916) 651-4036
    Fax: (916) 651-4936
    El Cajon District Office
    500 Fesler Street #201
    El Cajon, CA 92020
    Phone: (619) 596-3136
    Fax: (619) 596-3140
    Temecula District Office
    27555 Ynez Rd. Ste 204
    Temecula, CA 92591
    Phone: 951-676-1020
    Fax: (951) 676-1030

    Senator Ted. W. Lieu
    Capitol Office
    State Capitol, Room 4061
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: (916) 651-4028
    Fax: (916) 651-4928
    District Office
    2512 Artesia Blvd., #320
    Redondo Beach, CA 90278-3279
    Phone: (310) 318-6994
    Fax: (310) 318-6733

  5. Make it happen.

  6. 1.7 million gallons of water every single day. It'll take a lot of water saving toilets to make up for that. See how beneficial govt regulations are?

  7. Just think that will mean the FBI as well with their self written "WARRANTS" well and truly fitting the bill! Nearly every alphabet agency is a likely target of the legislation!

  8. If the costs will become legislation, private firms are going to be certified to deliver the NSA with one of these essential energy providers.

  9. This couldn’t happen to abetter bunch of vermin on the planet. It is time for the Nasty Spying Agency to get reigned in. It too bad they can’t do this to the crew of TLAs. I just know though that they will pull some state secrets crap and have this nulled out for security reasons.

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  11. Maybe California will stop being such a douche now that they aren't run by "The Governator." lol

  12. I'd like to deprive them of oxygen.

  13. Eh, laws are fine and all, but I don't think this will be enforceable – states are generally not allowed to interfere with federal operations.

  14. Actually, state and local law enforcement has more authority over their area's than the federal government does, if you really read the constitution and understand it you can see that the federal government does not have any authority to do alot of the things it has been doing if the State and Local government's worked together to nullify federal law.

  15. That was MY 1st thought! But I think they are all brain damaged already!!

  16. If the NSA snuck across the Rio Grande, California would not only give them electricity and water, but subsidized housing and healthcare.

  17. Water has lots of beneifts over men health

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