The Bipartisan Effort to Deprive the NSA of Water and Electricity


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?

19 thoughts on “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.

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

    1. 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

  2. 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?

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  7. I guess this something which will lead to problem, especially to the NSA’s surveillance programs. I’m not sure why our government seems to be against each other for something which I consider actually not so important.

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