Lawmakers introduce bill to immediately ban the state from helping mass spying of citizens by feds

January 06, 2014
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Sens. Ted Lieu and Joel Anderson seek to protect Californians’ rights to liberty and privacy

SACRAMENTO – In response to repeated federal admissions of widespread spying on innocent American citizens, Sens. Ted Lieu and Joel Anderson today introduced a sweeping bill that would ban state agencies, officials and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting or assisting the federal government to spy or collect certain data on Californians.
 
“The National Security Agency’s massive level of spying and indiscriminate collecting of phone and electronic data on all Americans, including more than 38 million Californians, is a direct threat to our liberty and freedom,” Lieu, D-Torrance, said after formally introducing Senate Bill 828 today, the first day of the 2014 session, along with Anderson, R-San Diego, joint-author.

Anderson said the measure was essential to ensure the privacy rights of all citizens are protected. “I support this bill because I support the Constitution, our 4th Amendment rights and our freedoms to live in the United States of America,” Anderson said.
 
Records show the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, Jr., initially lied to Congress and denied the existence of NSA’s blanket phone surveillance of all Americans.  Multiple media reports regarding NSA activities have now caused Clapper to admit he lied and that the NSA has, in fact, been collecting phone information on all 317 million Americans for years.  A federal judge recently declared the NSA’s blanket phone monitoring program to be unconstitutional, calling the dragnet ‘near Orwellian.’
 
“I agree with the NSA that the world is a dangerous place,” Lieu said. “That is why our founders enacted the Bill of Rights.  They understood the grave dangers of an out-of-control federal government.”
 
Lieu noted that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the following: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” 
 
“All 317 million Americans cannot reasonably be considered to be suspicious simply for making or receiving telephone calls,” Lieu said.  “The NSA’s blanket seizure of the telephone records of all Americans is therefore an ‘unreasonable seizure’ by any definition of the term under the Fourth Amendment.”
 
Recent media articles also state the NSA’s surveillance program on Americans extends to not just phone records, but also all types of electronic data, including emails, text messages and information stored on Americans’ smart phones.
 
To collect data on Californians, the NSA sometimes relies upon services provided by the state and/or private entities that provide services on behalf of the state. Lieu’s bill would ban state agencies, officials, and corporations providing services to the state from giving any material support, participation or assistance to any federal agency to collect electronic or metadata of any person, unless there has been a warrant issued that specifically describes the person, place and thing to be searched or seized.
 
“State-funded public resources should not be going toward aiding the NSA or any other federal agency from indiscriminate spying on its own citizens and gathering electronic or metadata that violates the Fourth Amendment,” Lieu said.
 
Lieu’s bill follows successful passage last year of a bipartisan resolution urging Congress to reconsider its vote for the NSA to stop its unconstitutional practices. For more, click on this link:   Senate Resolution 16 – National Security Administration

SB 828 is waiting to be assigned to a policy committee for its first hearing. If approved as drafted, it would take effect immediately.
 
“Let’s be clear: when the government deliberately violates the Constitution on a mass basis, it poses a clear and present danger to our lliberties.  The last time the federal government massively violated the US Constitution, over 100,000 innocent Americans were rounded up and interned,” Lieu said.

For more, including bill language, click on the link below. 

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and represents the more than 1.3 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glen, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington. See a district map HERE: For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Ray Sotero

Communications Director

Sen. Ted W. Lieu, Senate District 28

Capitol Building, Room 4061

Sacramento, Calif. 95814

(916) 651-4028 office; (916) 834-1128 cell; ray.sotero@sen.ca.gov

www.sen.ca.gov/Lieu