Can Utah shut down the new NSA data center by turning off the water? A new bill introduced by state rep. Marc Roberts seeks to do just that.
Based on model legislation drafted by a transpartisan coalition organized by the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC) and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) called the OffNow Coalition, the Utah 4th Amendment Protection Act would prohibit state material support, participation, or assistance to any federal agency that collects electronic data or metadata without a search warrant “that particularly describes the person, place and thing to be searched or seized.”
This puts contracts that provide the 1.7 million gallons of water a day necessary to cool the NSA computers at its Bluffdale facility in the crosshairs.
“Without question, the mass surveillance and data collection by the Utah Data Center is a delicate and important matter,” Roberts said. “But for me, the language of the Fourth Amendment is clear. It simply protects us against unreasonable and unwarranted searches or seizures of our persons, private residencies and property, documents and information and personal and private belongings. This legislation preserves those rights to the people.”
Bluffdale, a political subdivision of Utah, provided the NSA with a sweetheart water deal. The bill would begin the process of ending that deal, potentially crippling the NSA’s ability to keep the facility functional.
“No water equals no NSA data center,” TAC executive director Michael Boldin said.
He called the potential impact of this legislation significant, especially compared to what Congress has done to deal with the agency.
“In 1975, Sen. Frank Church warned that the power of the NSA could enable ‘total tyranny.’ He recommended that Congress should limit the agency’s power. Almost four decades later, we’re still waiting. Congress is not going to stop the NSA. The people and their states have to,” Boldin said. “Turn it off.”…