Activists Aim to Cut Off the Water to Dry Up NSA Surveillance

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
03/20/2014
       
Activists Aim to Cut Off the Water to Dry Up NSA Surveillance

Thee OffNow Coalition is working to introduce state legislation to cut off water used by NSA facilities.

Thankfully, there are some Americans willing to stand up and do something to slow the National Security Agency’s (NSA) construction of the surveillance state.

In Utah, for example, a group of activists is working to cut off the supply of water to the NSA’s massive Utah Data Center located near Bluffdale.

Utah state Representative Mark Roberts offered a bill (HB 161) during the recent legislative session that would prohibit “cooperation between a federal agency that collects electronic data and any political subdivisions of the state.” In other words, cities would be required to refuse to support the NSA’s data collection within the state of Utah. And, in case any town is reluctant to stand up to the federal government, the bill empower citizens to "bring an action to enforce the refusal."

Roberts’ language is very similar to that of James Madison, who in Federalist 45 encouraged state lawmakers, in order to prevent federal abridgment of fundamental liberties, to refuse “to co-operate with the officers of the Union.”

On the national stage, no one has done more to give states the guidance they need to protect citizens from having their most basic civil liberties abridged by the federal government than Michael Boldin, founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center. The Tenth Amendment Center is part of the OffNow Coaltion.

In an appearance on the NPR show Here and Now, Boldin explained to host Robin Young the purpose of the OffNow Coalition, a consortium of groups working to turn off the spigot, cutting off the water cooling the NSA’s massive supercomputers.

This is about violating the rights, and this facility being used for it. Now, as far as turning off power to this facility, whether in Utah or the new one coming online in Maryland that is going to be using up to five million gallons of water a day provided by Howard County, Maryland, or the new one coming online in San Antonio, Texas, using the Texas power grid to provide electricity or expansions in Tennessee or Georgia or in Hawaii, or elsewhere, who knows where they're going to expand.

Referencing historic state protections of civil liberty as a model for the OffNow strategy, Boldin said:

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