Lawmakers in 10 states push back against NSA as movement picks up steam
By Josh Peterson | Watchdog.org
The roster of critics is growing as state-level push back against the National Security Agency continues to gather momentum.
GROWING CONCERN: Lawmakers in at least 10 states are working to limit the reach of the National Security Agency.
An Indiana sheriff and an Oregon Occupy organization recently voiced their support for denying state-level assistance to the agency’s warrantless electronic data collection activities, but perhaps more telling for privacy advocates is that state lawmakers in 10 states are now on record opposing the NSA and warrantless federal surveillance.
In Mississippi, Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel introduced a bill on Jan. 20, the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which aims to “prohibit any state action which implements the federal NSA program.”
McDaniel’s bill makes Mississippi one of 10 states with pending legislation geared towards limiting the federal government’s spying powers.
Bills, modeled on legislation drafted by the OffNow.org coalition, also are pending in Arizona, California, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampsire, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington state.
OffNow.org is a a state level organization challenging the federal government’s warrantless electronic surveillance activities.
Michael Maharrey, a spokesman for OffNow.org, said he was not aware that any lawmakers in Mississippi were considering introducing the bill until he saw it posted on the state Legislature’s website.
“It was a total surprise,” Maharrey said.
If passed this session, McDaniel’s bill would take effect on July 1. The bill is pending before the Mississippi Senate Rules Committee, where it will need to pass of before moving to the state Senate.
Maharrey told Watchdog.org he expected at least two more states to join their ranks in the next two weeks. He also said he viewed California and Arizona as states with the strongest chance of passing the legislation.
“Americans are not happy about being spied on and not happy about their data being collected,” said Maharrey.
Contact Josh Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Josh on Twitter at @jdpeterson
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