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Nullify NSA Campaign at Agency’s Front Door: Maryland Bill Bans State Resources for Spy Agency

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NSA-maryland-020914The OffNow coalition has now marched state and local efforts to stop unconstitutional NSA spying right onto the agency’s front porch.

Late last week, Maryland State Delegate Michael Smigiel introduced the Fourth Amendment Protection Act to end all state cooperation with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Based on model legislation drafted by a transpartisan coalition organized by the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC) and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), HB1074 would ban Maryland state or local government from providing water, electricity or other resources to the NSA while it engages in warrantless mass-surveillance, and would make shared collected data inadmissible in state courts.

Smigiel said that even though the NSA has deep roots in Maryland, the state should no longer support an agency that ignores constitutional constraints and tramples on the privacy rights of the people.

“I want Maryland standing with its back to its people holding a shield. Not facing them holding a sword,” he said.

Ft. Meade serves as the home base for the NSA, and resource needs have created significant issues for the agency for more than 10 years. In 2006, the Baltimore Sun reported that the agency had maxed out the Baltimore-area power grid, causing insiders to fear that the problem “could force a virtual shutdown of the agency.”

While the NSA alleviated some of those concerns with new facilities in Utah, Texas and elsewhere, they still remain an issue. In December, the agency signed a new contract with Howard County, Md., to provide up to 5 million gallons of water per day to cool supercomputers in a new data center slated to open in 2016.

“Maryland has almost become a political subdivision of the NSA,” TAC executive director Michael Boldin said. “The agency relies heavily on state and local help. This bill bans all of it.”

Smigiel said the bill is not merely a symbolic gesture. The Elkton Republican has a track record of working with Democrats on civil liberties related legislation, and said he believes he can garner the bipartisan support necessary to move the bill forward.

BORDC executive director Shahid Buttar called coming together across party lines to oppose unconstitutional NSA spying “imperative.”

“The NSA’s decade of warrantless surveillance en masse assaults not only the rights of hundreds of millions of law-abiding Americans, and our democracy as a whole, but resembles Soviet-style spying — on meth, empowered and amplified by the past generation’s remarkable advances in computing technology,” he said. “Maryland residents have a chance to shed partisan differences and take matters into their own hands. They have the opportunity to defend democracy by shutting off state resources consumed by the massive NSA operation in Maryland as it assaults We the People, our fundamental rights, and the Constitution that enshrined them.”

Along with denying the NSA resources and prohibiting the use of warrantless data in courts, the Fourth Amendment Protection Act also blocks public universities from serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds, and forbids corporations filling needs not met in the absence of state cooperation from doing business with the state.

TAC national communications director Mike Maharrey said the provision prohibiting the use of unconstitutionally gathered data in state criminal proceedings is just as important as cutting off resources because it protects citizens from a practical effect of NSA spying

“We know the NSA shares data with state and local law enforcement. We know from a Reuters report that most of this shared data has absolutely nothing to do with national security issues,” he said. “We might not be able to stop the NSA from gathering data on everybody in America, but we can darn sure stop that information from being used against them.”

Boldin praised Smigiel and lawmakers in 12 other states for stepping up to do something Congress and the president either can’t or won’t do – rein in an agency intent on spying on everybody in the world without any regard to the Constitution or basic civil liberties.

“People are sick and tired of watching federal politicians sit on their hands as these huge agencies violate their rights. The feds won’t limit their own power? Fine. The  states will do it for them,” he said. “The NSA has a choice; follow the Constitution or get the hell out!”

HB1074 first moves on to the House Judiciary committee where it will need to pass by a majority vote before being considered by the full house.

TAKE ACTION

In Maryland, SUPPORT THIS BILL HERE: http://offnow.org/maryland/

All other states, take action here: http://offnow.org/state

14 thoughts on “Nullify NSA Campaign at Agency’s Front Door: Maryland Bill Bans State Resources for Spy Agency

  1. Cheers for Maryland, hope the bill is passed and signed by the Governor very soon. I’ve urged my representatives in the NYS legislature to move similar legislation

  2. As a Maryland citizen I look forward to hearing about this bill being passed soon hopefully. O’Malley hasn’t been the best governor but this would help out in his last term as he is looking to be president soon. Smart politics would be for O’Malley to get the legislators to pass this through fast.

  3. Excellent. Keep following up with them in NY until they say YES.

  4. Smart, indeed. Please make sure to follow the steps at this link to keep the pressure on from the grassroots level too:
    http://offnow.org/maryland

  5. […] Nullify NSA Campaign at Agency’s Front Door: Maryland Bill Bans State Resources for Spy Agency […]

  6. There has been no proof that NSA has broken my constitutional rights. Yet supporters here find them guilty when our constitution says innocent until proven guilty. Google infringes on my privacy more than NSA and it can be proven and people are not up in arms about that. Just who are you trying to protect and at what cost. Do your research and please don’t follow blindly. To the NSA I say thank you for every life you save that you cannot take credit for.

  7. […] BWHAHAHAHA ! Blowback: Maryland bill targets resources at NSA headquarters: NullifyNSA campaign on NSA's front doorNullify … […]

  8. […] Nullify NSA Campaign at Agency’s Front Door: Maryland Bill Bans State Resources for Spy Agency […]

  9. It’s about time the people stood up for their rights. Who knows control of the political apparatus may come back some time.

  10. YY, I totally agree with you on this. I’ve lived in Maryland since the end of 1994, mostly in Prince George’s County, and now, in Howard County; and, this is good news. I wish Delegate Michael Smigiel the best of luck in getting this legislation passed, and highly commend him for his integrity and courage for introducing it.

    I never thought that a Socialist state such as Maryland would even consider nullifying the NSA, but I’m glad its legislature is looking at it, at least. Now, it’s time for Delegate Smigiel’s colleagues to join him and pass it on to the Senate.

  11. […] to the NSA Headquarters brings this issue to the forefront. The bill’s sponsor, Michael Smigiel, framed the bill […]

  12. […] the NSA Headquarters brings this issue to the forefront. The bill’s sponsor, Michael Smigiel, framed the bill […]

  13. The Congressional Budget Office in February said that NA only once had provided info on a threatened attack, and in that case other agencies had provided more, better, and earlier reports. NSA never warned on the 1993 WTC attack, 9/11, Benghazi, Lockerbie, Beirut Marine barracks attack, attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Mumbai mall massacre, USS Cole, shoe bomber, Time Square car bomber, Boston Marathon, and much more for a very simple reason: they work in the interests of all desiring the destruction of the USA, and to that end not only provide cover for attacks, but also subvert the Constitution. Those defending NSA are a guilty as they of treason.

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