They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Effort To Shut Off The NSA's Water Supply Goes Bipartisan In California

Aptopix-worldwide-threats
AP Photo / Susan Walsh

A pair of California state senators, one Democrat and one Republican, have introduced legislation to prevent the state from helping NSA mass surveillance.

"The National Security Agency’s massive level of spying and indiscriminate collecting of phone and electronic data on all Americans, including more than 38 million Californians, is a direct threat to our liberty and freedom,” state Sen. Ted Lieu (D), who co-authored the bill with state Sen. Joel Anderson (R), said in a statement on Monday.

The measure would ban state agencies, officials, and corporations that provide services to the state from "supporting or assisting the federal government to spy or collect certain data on Californians," according to a press release.

“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,” Lieu said.

Based on model legislation developed by the California-based Tenth Amendment Center, the measure would also ban state and local criminal investigations from using electronic data the federal government obtained without a specific warrant.

The Tenth Amendment Center, a nullification group that has previously engaged in gun rights and anti-Obamacare efforts, began promoting the model legislation, known as the 4th Amendment Protection Act, late last year. The center has promoted the effort by arguing that, if the measure were to pass in Utah, it would mean cutting off the water supply to the NSA's new Utah Data Center.

According to The Tenth Amendment Center, the NSA does not currently operate a data or "threat operations" center in California, but the center argues the measure would make the agency's expansion more difficult.

“Since the NSA is expanding so wildly, it’s not unlikely that they’re planning to build new data centers and ‘threat operations centers’ in other locations," Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said in a statement. "California’s high-tech industry makes it a likely candidate."