California Senators to NSA: Not So Fast, We Follow the Fourth Amendment

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A bipartisan team of California lawmakers is pushing a bill through California’s legislature that would prevent any state-related entity from  disclosing information on citizens to federal agents without a warrant. State Senators Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) introduced Senate Bill 828, also called the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, on Monday.

Specifically, the bill would prohibit “an employee of the state… a corporation… or a political subdivision of the state from materially supporting or assisting, as specified, a federal agency or federal agent in collecting electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person, place and thing to be searched or seized.”

In a release, Lieu cited constitutional concern over the National Security Agency’s data-mining practices as cause for the bill.

“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”

While SB 828 may not prohibit the NSA from intercepting data on its own accord, the bill makes California one of four states currently considering similar legislation. Missouri, Kansas, and Arizona have also introduced other versions of the Fourth Amendment Protection Act.

The fact that California is exploring such legislation shouldn’t come as a surprise. The state is home to a robust tech industry, which has been highly critical of the NSA’s surveillance policies.

One group leading the lobbying effort for SB 828 is the Tenth Amendment Center. Communications Director Mike Maharrey argues the bill could help keep international investment inside the state. Foreign investors have been weary of American tech-companies ever since confidential information regarding data collection by the NSA was released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

 “Since the NSA is expanding so wildly, it’s not unlikely that they’re planning to build new data centers and ‘threat operations centers’ in other locations. California’s high-tech industry makes it a likely candidate. We can’t wait until the NSA opens up shop. This act yanks away the welcome mat and tells the NSA, ‘We don’t want you in California unless you follow the Constitution.’”

The Tenth Amendment Center is also exploring alternative means to ‘nullify’ the NSA’s surveillance capabilities in other states. The group launched a campaign in Utah last month to turn off the state’s supply of water to the NSA’s data facility.

Photo credit: ‘Bumblehive’ data center in Utah // nsa.gov

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  1. DavidEngland lol. Dems and Repubs are the same thing, there is no difference, no political aisle, just a political grid. Although this sounds like something i would completely, 100% support this, i have seen too many "sounds good" bills that turn out to almost do the exact opposite, in practice, of what they were either intended or proposed to do. Ive found that the only time the politicians, in everything from the senate to the house, agree, is when they retain or attain power. Read the bills, read summaries from lawyers, take notes, listen to both sides of the political media, continue research and only then should you make a decision on where you stand. Things are far too exaggerated or down-played on both sides to take either ones word for it. Only when you listen to both do you get a general idea of the benefits and drawbacks. Look at the left-wing extremists and then the right-wing extremists, then the moderates, after a while you will realize what the founding framers meant by "checks and balances," what i dont think people realize is that freedom isnt always pleasant, it means people you find insane can still babble and rant about whatever it is they want to, it means the westboro baptist church can spread their message of hate, it means that people can still support communism or socialism or radical right wing ideologies, but it means that you, as well, can have any belief or opinion you want, that is why it is so important for us to set our opinions aside when it comes to preserving rights and individual liberty. I was initially drawn to the supposed "right" and then i realized they are just as willing as any other political party to strip those they dont agree with of their rights, which to me is wrong. If they would not fight for the rights of their political foes then they simply fight for privilege, however that goes for everyone. So we must try to refrain from taking a label such as "right" or "left," perhaps replace it with just "human." Remember in a true democracy 51% can vote the other 49% into slavery. That is why this country was designed as a Constitutional Republic with democratic processes.
  2. Emilio Llanes Threats us, worse than being terrorists
  3. Michael Oberline The government has only the powers granted them by the people. Spying on citizens clearly violates the 1st and 4th amendments to our Constitution.
  4. Lou Damey Now they should give some thought to following the second amendment too!
  5. Tim Silva I don't always agree with my state Gov't., almost always ,I stongly support this one !!!
  6. Sammi De La Cruz I hope the NSA is tapping the phones of the terrorist camps (4 of them here in CA.). They need to arrest them before they start killing us, not after.
  7. Lana Fernandez Michelle Cook, as liberal, I vote according to the attributes of the candidate, not party affiliation, but if I feel conflicted..I will always vote democrat. Better to err on any side other than right wing crazy side.
  8. Michelle Cook How about you stop giving electoral votes with people who are Democrats?
  9. Judith Shields Support. Californis is ahead of the rest of the nation, as usual.
  10. Gary Wood I'd support ANY bill that unplugs NSA from my life!
50 comments
Michael Oberline
Michael Oberline

The government has only the powers granted them by the people. Spying on citizens clearly violates the 1st and 4th amendments to our Constitution.

Lou Damey
Lou Damey

Now they should give some thought to following the second amendment too!

Tim Silva
Tim Silva

I don't always agree with my state Gov't., almost always ,I stongly support this one !!!

Sammi De La Cruz
Sammi De La Cruz

I hope the NSA is tapping the phones of the terrorist camps (4 of them here in CA.). They need to arrest them before they start killing us, not after.

Lana Fernandez
Lana Fernandez

Michelle Cook, as liberal, I vote according to the attributes of the candidate, not party affiliation, but if I feel conflicted..I will always vote democrat. Better to err on any side other than right wing crazy side.

Michelle Cook
Michelle Cook

How about you stop giving electoral votes with people who are Democrats?

Judith Shields
Judith Shields

Support. Californis is ahead of the rest of the nation, as usual.

Gary Wood
Gary Wood

I'd support ANY bill that unplugs NSA from my life!

ChrisThibodeaux
ChrisThibodeaux

WAY TO GO!! NOW GIVE THEM BACK THEIR GUVS SHOW OBAMA HE CANT  AND WONT BE A DICTATOR  

Terry Brewer
Terry Brewer

Wow - would've expected CA to chide the NSA for not violating more of our rights.

John Erkman
John Erkman

Key word being "unconstitutionally" of course!

Bryant Lowe
Bryant Lowe

Im thinking face book might be involved i keep getting this girl that wants to be my friend im fricken married i dont want to know any 13 year old girl, i de friended her after .5 minutes but now she is back saying im cute ,, it must be the cops because she types words that a little girl wouldnt have a clue.

Jack Powell
Jack Powell

Even the people's republic of California is waking up! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ray Ninness
Ray Ninness

Like that will get Traction anywhere outside or inside the Socialist Republic of Mexafornia??

Shawn Michael Scott
Shawn Michael Scott

If there was equality and justice for all there would be no need for the NSA

Martin Zehr
Martin Zehr

My problem is that if they want to enforce this, they need to encrypt all email in the state. Otherwise, it's just more posturing from California. Makes them feel good but does not resist the Surveillance state.

Lucille Griffin
Lucille Griffin

I would oppose it unless it were a national law; because it would create safe zones for bad actors to operate somewhat in the open under protection of the same American laws they seek to destroy. which is a big irony to be sure.

Theodore Macris
Theodore Macris

Although no fan NSA indiscriminate spying , but next thing California would be haven for Benedict Arnolds, Vladimir Putins and Terrorists( Maybe The McVeigh and Bin laden Types). Next time if there is another Oklahoma City or 9/11 the terrorists would rush back to their California and some politician calling for Cali to be carpet bombed or nuked off the map.

Mitchel Six
Mitchel Six

Yes of course. We don't want "1984" to be a reality. By the looks of things we've already Orwellians.

Jim Dunn
Jim Dunn

There are a few more Amendments that California needs to follow

bobconner
bobconner

Good news for us all, I think.  CA wields some big influence in politics and it's beyond time for a bit of NSA smackdown.


Jawad Pullin
Jawad Pullin

If only that state's US Senators would agree!

Ralph Boggs
Ralph Boggs

This happened in my state hell? just these idiots talking about it makes me proud, out here our government doesnt usually do things like this !

Galen Ray Richards
Galen Ray Richards

support all the way even though they won't follow the rules, if they are not going to honor the fourth amendment what makes them think they will honor this law ?

Kathy Jones
Kathy Jones

Lol right while they ignore pretty well the rest of it.

Susan Guest
Susan Guest

Is there no requirement for paid government employees to adhere to the constitution? I was just wondering why we have it, if not.

Mike Abner
Mike Abner

Feds need to be stopped, they think they can do whatever they want!

John Giffin
John Giffin

Jerry, the NSA isn't following the 4th amendment. The bill affects the corporations releasing data to or co-operating with the NSA rather than the NSA itself. I'm saddened at the necessity, but support the counter to warrantless search and seizure.

Jerry Leahy
Jerry Leahy

If they're not following the 4th Amendment then why would they follow a bill that tells them to follow the 4th Amendment? State senators and representatives should start campaigning to revoke the Patriot Act and cut off the "legal" justification for these blanket surveillance programs.

Michael Snider
Michael Snider

For once I'm glad Lieu's my Senator. Even a broken clock...

highammichael
highammichael moderator

I always liked Sen. Ted Lieu, I feel he's very genuine with what he says and does and I believe it's reflected in the legislation he takes part in. One example of how CA politicians are more effective. 

DavidEngland
DavidEngland

lol. Dems and Repubs are the same thing, there is no difference, no political aisle, just a political grid. Although this sounds like something i would completely, 100% support, i have seen too many "sounds good" bills that turn out to do almost the exact opposite, in practice, of what they were either intended or proposed to do. Ive found that the only time the politicians, in everything from the senate to the house, agree, is when they retain or attain power. Read the bills, read summaries from lawyers, take notes, listen to both sides of the political media, continue research and only then should you make a decision on where you stand. Things are far too exaggerated or down-played on both sides to take either ones word for it. Only when you listen to both do you get a general idea of the benefits and drawbacks. Look at the left-wing extremists and then the right-wing extremists, then the moderates, after a while you will realize what the founding framers meant by "checks and balances," what i dont think people realize is that freedom isnt always pleasant, it means people you find insane can still babble and rant about whatever it is they want to, it means the westboro baptist church can spread their message of hate, it means that people can still support communism or socialism or radical right wing ideologies, but it means that you, as well, can have any belief or opinion you want, that is why it is so important for us to set our opinions aside when it comes to preserving rights and individual liberty. I was initially drawn to the supposed "right" and then i realized they are just as willing as any other political party to strip those they dont agree with of their rights, which to me is wrong. If they would not fight for the rights of their political foes then they simply fight for privilege, however that goes for everyone. So we must try to refrain from taking a label such as "right" or "left," perhaps replace it with just "human." Remember in a true democracy 51% can vote the other 49% into slavery. That is why this country was designed as a Constitutional Republic with democratic processes.

tedlieu
tedlieu

@WrightDumark @IVNetwork Bill, (1) the Constitution doesn't apply to private companies. (2) Companies don't have coercive power of govt.

WrightDumark
WrightDumark

@tedlieu @IVNetwork Agree. My point was that we lost our privacy with the advent of the internet. NSA or not your life is out there.