Originally published February 17 2014
Maryland legislators introduce 'emergency' bill to cut water, electricity to NSA
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The National Security Agency (NSA), which some have now dubbed the National Spying Agency, could soon be brought to its knees if an initiative launched by the freedom advocacy group Tenth Amendment Center (TAC) is successful. Members of the Maryland House of Delegates have reportedly introduced emergency legislation in their state that would cut off water, electricity and all other forms of material support to the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.
The bill, which is part of a legislative blitz authored by TAC in defense of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, would prohibit the state of Maryland and its various political allies from providing any sort of support or assistance to NSA activities. According to U.S. News & World Report, this includes outlawing public utilities from delivering water or electricity to the agency's massive spying facility, as well as banning the use of NSA-derived evidence in state courts.
Not only would the NSA be prohibited from accessing the resources it needs to operate under the bill, but it would also be barred from partnering with state universities on all future research initiatives. The legislation also sets penalties for anyone who might try to break these rules, including the automatic firing of state or local officials who ignore the NSA sanctions.
Local governments that violate the new rules would also be subject to having their state grants eliminated and forever be prohibited from participating in state contracts.
"Eight Republicans in the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates introduced legislation Thursday that would deny the electronic spy agency 'material support, participation or assistance in any form' from the state, its political subdivisions or companies with state contracts," writes Steven Nelson for U.S. News about the effort.
TAC helping states all across the country fight illegal NSA spying activities Though headquartered in Maryland, the NSA also operates facilities in many other states, including a large data center that it recently built in the city of Bluffdale, Utah. Representative Marc Roberts, a Republican from Santaquin, recently introduced a bill in his state known as "Prohibition on Electronic Data Collection Assistance" that, among other things, would cut off water from the facility.
"It's left to the states in times like these, and other times too, when the federal government gets too big to take action," Roberts is quoted as saying by The Salt Lake Tribune in reference to the bill, which as of this writing has not been formally filed.
TAC's national communications director, Mike Maharrey, agrees. He told reporters that the goal of the legislation, both in Utah and in Maryland, is to stop the NSA from continuing to violate the constitutional rights of Americans by collecting data on them without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.
"The idea is we are not going to do business with this agency as long as it's violating the highest law in the land," says Maharrey. "We're not trying to shut down the NSA for the sake of shutting down the NSA. The goal is to get this agency to operate within constitutional constraints."
According to the latest data provided by TAC, at least 15 states have already proposed or are considering the proposal of legislation to accomplish similar goals. The Arizona Senate, for instance, has introduced Senate Bill 1156, which would similarly cut off utilities to all NSA facilities within the state. This bill was passed by a committee earlier in 2013 on a 4-2 vote and is now ready for a hearing by the Rules committee.
"The 4th Amendment Protection Act is an important FIRST STEP [emphasis added] to stopping NSA spying," explains TAC about the prototype bill being used by the states to challenge the NSA's crimes. "Once your state completes this first step, there are more...aggressive...measures that will be implemented to push back."
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