I got an interesting email from Sputnik News recently relating to U.S. surveillance of foreign nationals outside the country. Here the question, followed by my response.
Yesterday, BBC News published a full report on the status of states taking on the NSA by banning material support or resources.
The following press release went out to nearly 400 members of the media in states considering bills to ban material support and resources to the NSA.
The OffNow campaign to turn of material support and resources to the NSA and other federal agencies engaged in warrantless spying got some very positive mainstream media attention Wednesday.
A recent Associated Press story on our efforts to shut down the NSA in Utah got a lot of things right, except for the most important part. The article infers that a similar effort in Nevada to shut down a federal nuclear waste dump failed.
A report on the Utah water/NSA bill hearing yesterday hit the Associated Press today has been going viral online, hitting Drudge Report, ABC News, and elsewhere:
This week I was quoted in the US News and World Report and the Recorder about California Gov. Jerry Brown signing a anti-surveillance bill into law.
by Michael Boldin
Yesterday, I was a guest on RT America News with Ameera David. The subject was the new USA Freedom Act introduced by Sen. Leahy. While most people talking about the bill are are spending time on what the bill would do in theory or abstract, I am more concerned with what is going to happen in reality.
I basically argued three things during the interview:
1. It’s not going to pass, and if it does, it’s only a small step forward.
2. It’s not going to pass, because Dianne Feinstein doesn’t want it to pass. She’s the chair of the Senate intelligence committee. And, as I said, “If the NSA were a business, Feinstein would be head of marketing because she pretty much loves everything they do.”
3. It’s not going to pass, but if it does, Feinstein’s CISA could also pass, meaning they’ll just use a different excuse for mass surveillance. CISA is a bill that did just pass her committee by a 12-3 vote. And this actually expands the NSA’s ability to conduct this same surveillance. So, in theory, they could pass the new Freedom Act limiting some of the NSA’s power under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but at the same time, expand its power with CISA.
I also pointed out that there are state-level efforts happening right now, in New Hampshire, Missouri and elsewhere – that are moving privacy issues forward faster and more reliably than could ever happen in Washington DC.
The short version? I urged people to go to OffNow.org and take action on a state level.
I do hope I got that message across without stumbling around too much!
Today marks the launch of a new Ron Paul initiative touted as an expansion of the current Ron Paul Channel.
Voices of Liberty will “be the go-to social platform for liberty-minded people to challenge the status quo through staying informed on today’s most pressing issues and engaging in constructive discourse to develop actionable solutions to achieve the goals of the liberty movement.”
OffNow is pleased to support this new venture and proud to announce that executive director Mike Maharrey will provide regular content for the new website.
According to organizers, Voices of Liberty will expand on the Ron Paul channel by offering more video, audio and editorial from well-known champions of liberty, along with everyday citizens engaged in the freedom movement.
“VOL wants to pave the way to a brighter future by demanding an end to the trillion dollar wars, restoring economic prosperity, increasing government transparency and ridding our country of warrantless spying on our private communications, by bringing people together and amplifying their voices to initiate real and permanent change.”
You can read Maharrey’s first contribution to Voices of Liberty highlighting the OffNow campaign to end illegal NSA spying through state and local action HERE.
A Los Angeles TV news reporter said a California bill to prohibit state cooperation with unconstitutional and illegal spying “could be huge.”
Known as the 4th Amendment Protection Act, SB828 passed the California Senate 29-0.
“It’s a bill that basically tells the federal government, ‘If you are going to spy on American cell phones without a warrant, California is not going to help you.’ And that could be huge considering the fact California’s population is about 38 million people,” NBC Los Angeles reporter Gadi Schwartz said.