LANSING, Mich. (Dec. 16, 2015) – A bill filed in Michigan yesterday would not only support efforts to turn off water and electricity to NSA facilities in Utah, Texas and other states, but also would have immediate practical effects on federal surveillance programs if passed.
Rep. Martin Howrylak, along with 21 cosponsors from both sides of the political aisle, introduced House Bill 5162 (HB5162) on Dec. 15. The Fourth Amendment Protection Act would ban the state from providing material support or resources to any federal agency to enable it to collect, or to facilitate in the collection or use of a person’s electronic data or metadata, without a warrant, the person’s informed consent, or in accordance with legally recognized exceptions to warrant requirements.
RESOURCES: SUPPORT FOR UTAH, TEXAS AND OTHER NSA FACILITY STATES
The original definition of “material support or resources” includes providing tangible support such as money, goods, and materials and also less concrete support, such as “personnel” and “training.” Section 805 of the PATRIOT Act expanded the definition to include “expert advice or assistance.”
Practically-speaking, the legislation would almost certainly stop the NSA from ever setting up a new facility in Michigan.
In 2006, the agency maxed out the Baltimore-area power grid, creating the potential, as the Baltimore Sun reported, for a “virtual shutdown of the agency.” Since then, the NSA aggressively expanded in states like Utah, Texas, Colorado and elsewhere, generally focusing on locations that can provide cheap and plentiful resources like water and power.
Last year, both…