California and Washington Set to Stop NSA at the State Border

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
01/16/2014
       
California and Washington Set to Stop NSA at the State Border

State lawmakers in California and Washington have proposed bills that would prohibit state agencies from cooperating with the NSA's surveillance programs.

Congress, the president, and the courts may have decided to quietly surrender oversight of the National Security Agency (NSA), but state lawmakers in a few states aren’t so easily silenced.

Legislators in Washington and California have stepped into the breach, offering legislation that will keep the NSA’s all-seeing eye from spying on residents of their states.

On January 6, two California state senators introduced a bill minimizing the effect of the NSA’s infamous dragnet phone metadata collection program.

Democrat State Senator Ted Lieu, serving California's 28th Senate District covering parts of the greater Los Angeles area, and Republican State Senator Joel Anderson, serving California's 36th Senate District covering parts of Orange and San Diego counties, are the sponsors of the Fourth Amendment Protection Act that forbids state agencies and officers from cooperation with the NSA.

“State-funded public resources should not be going toward aiding the NSA or any other federal agency from [sic] indiscriminate spying on its own citizens and gathering electronic or metadata that violates the Fourth Amendment,” Lieu said in a statement released in conjunction with the legislation.

The language of Senate Bill 828 (SB 828) mostly comes from model legislation drafted by the OffNow coalition. The measure prohibits the state of California and its political subdivisions from “Providing material support, participation or assistance in any form to a federal agency that claims the power, by virtue of any federal law, rule, regulation or order, to collect electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person, place and thing to be searched or seized.”

An article published by Truth Out, one of the groups participating in the OffNow effort, explains the value of the California proposal:

Click here to read the entire article.

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