Arizona lawmaker hopes to stop NSA spy efforts in her state
State Senator Kelli Ward plans to introduce a bill that would bar all state help for the spy agency
Computerworld - An Arizona lawmaker is eyeing an unusual way of reining in the National Security Agency, which has been under fire for questionable surveillance practices: Block it from operating in her state.
State Senator Kelli Ward, a Republican representing Arizona's Lake Havasu City region, plans to introduce legislation next month that would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from extending any kind of support to the NSA. The measure would also bar state-owned utility companies from providing electricity or water supplies to any NSA facilities that might be set up in Arizona.
Ward's bill would also ban prosecutors from using information gathered by the NSA without a warrant in state and local courts. And it would block Arizona public universities from getting involved in any NSA-related research or recruiting activities as well as punish private firms that assist the agency in any way.
The goal, according to Ward, is to prevent warrantless snooping on Arizona residents by the NSA.
In the last legislative session, Ward pushed a bill that would have required state law enforcement to ignore federal gun regulations; that proposal was never allowed up for a vote by the state's Republican leadership, according to The Arizona Republic.
Ward's proposal is modeled on a template developed by the Tenth Amendment Center, an advocacy group focused on state and individual sovereignty issues.
As part of an ongoing effort to get individual states to take action against NSA spying, the group is trying to get Utah lawmakers to pass legislation that would prohibit state-owned utilities from supplying water to a planned NSA data center near Salt Lake City.
The giant facility reportedly requires 1.7 million gallons of water to cool the massive supercomputers and storage systems that the NSA will use to collect and analyze surveillance data from around the world. The Jordan Valley River Conservancy District, a state-owned entity, is currently supposed to provide water to the facility.
Michael Maharrey, the national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, expressed hope that other states will join Arizona's effort in blocking the NSA.
"Arizona is the first state to officially announce it will consider the bill," Maharrey said in emailed comments to Computerworld. "We have soft commitments from lawmakers in Utah and Washington, but can't confirm anything officially until they actually file the bills."
The legal rationales behind these bills are "rock-solid," Maharrey claimed. "That the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program is well-established in the law. It is known as the anti-commandeering doctrine."
The U.S. Supreme Court has previously held that the federal government cannot force state workers to administer or enforce any federal regulatory program, he said.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Gov't Legislation/Regulation in Computerworld's Gov't Legislation/Regulation Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Gov't Legislation/Regulation White Papers | Webcasts