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Washington State mulls cutting off electricity, water for NSA

Staff writer |
The Washington State campaign to cut off all utilities and services to the National Security Agency (NSA) facilities in that state achieved its first success, according to a Los Angeles think-tank.

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According to the Tenth Amendment Center, Washington became first state with a physical NSA location to consider the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which was written and proposed to make life extremely difficult for the spy agency.

State Rep. David Taylor (R-Moxee) and State Rep. Luis Moscoso (D- Mountlake Terrace) introduced HB2272 would make it the policy of Washington "to refuse material support, participation, or assistance to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, or order which purports to authorize, the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant."

The bill, if passed and signed into law, would prohibit state and local agencies from providing any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction. This includes prohibiting state government-owned utilities from providing water and electricity.

It also makes intelligence gathering by NSA agents without a warrant - that may eventually be shared with law enforcement - inadmissible as evidence in a state criminal proceeding. In addition, the law would block public universities from serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds, Jim Kouri writes for Eurasia Review.

Indiana have already introduced similar bills, and a state senator in Arizona has committed to running with it in his state, but Washington counts as the first state with an actual NSA facility within its borders to consider the Fourth Amendment Protection Act.

The NSA operates a listening center on the U.S. Army's Yakima Training Center in Washington. If the bill passes, it would set in motion actions to stop any state support of the Yakima center as long as it remains in the state, and could make companies doing business with the NSA facility ineligible for any contracts with the state or its political subdivisions.

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