Will state lawmakers and the governor of Utah pass a law that shuts down the water supply for a new National Security Agency facility in their state? New legislation introduced on Tuesday by State Rep. Marc Roberts seeks to do just that, according to a nonpartisan think-tank's announcement on Tuesday.
The Republican lawmaker based his proposed bill on model legislation drafted by a coalition organized by the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC) and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC). The Fourth 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,” according to Rep. Roberts, staunch constitutionalist and member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (Mormons).
Besides the water needed for drinking or cooking purposes, Roberts believes cutting off the daily 1.7 million gallons of water a day necessary to cool-off the NSA computers alone will render the facility useless for spying purposes, especially spying on American citizens.
"Without question, the mass surveillance and data collection by the [NSA] 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,"
“No water equals no NSA data center,” said Michael Boldin, the Tenth Amendment Center's executive director.
He called the potential impact of this legislation significant, especially compared to what Congress has done.
"At stake is nothing less than our nation's triumph in the Cold War. 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,” said Boldin.
“Utah residents have a chance to take matters into their own hands, defending democracy by shutting off state resources consumed by the Bluffdale data center in its assault on We the People, our fundamental rights, and the Constitution that enshrines them," he added.