California introduces landmark bill to deny the NSA state resources

 On January 6, 2013 California Senators Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) introduced SB828, a bill that would cut off all access to state resources by the National Security Agency (NSA). The bill is based on model legislation drafted by the OffNow coalition, of which BORDC is a member.

According to the OffNow press release:

 “Practically speaking, the bill:

1)   Prohibits state and local agencies from providing any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction. Includes barring government-owned utilities from providing water and electricity.

2)   Makes information gathered without a warrant by the NSA and shared with law enforcement inadmissible in state court.

3)   Blocks public universities from serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds.

4)   Provides sanctions against corporations attempting to fill needs not met in the absence of state cooperation.”

The bipartisan effort comes in response to the wave of public outcry following the leaked disclosures that the NSA has been engaged in domestic surveillance. Bill co-author Sen. Lieu remarked, “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.”

SB828 is only the next in a series of bipartisan bills defending the Bill of Rights in the state. AB351, which was signed into law in October of 2013, took a similar stance of noncompliance with the portions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would permit the indefinite detention of California residents.

California is rapidly positioning itself as one of the few states in the union capable of enacting real reform across party lines, and the evidence is in the electorate. The Shame on Feinstein coalition, composed of activists from across the political spectrum, has gained over a thousand supporters in their call for real NSA reform.

The fight for civil liberties is about to get very interesting in California. Stay tuned to for updates!

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