If you're enraged about revelations of National Security Agency spying on Americans, this is the bill for you. On Tuesday, five Republican and two Democratic state representatives, including Bothell's Luis Moscoso, introduced what they call the Fourth Amendment Protection Act. Here's the meat of the bill (PDF):
It is the policy of this state 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 that particularly describes the person, place, and thing to be searched or seized.
The proposal goes on to make cooperating with any agency collecting metadata without a specific warrant—what the NSA's Boundless Informant program does and which one federal judge said likely violated the Fourth Amendment—a misdemeanor crime for state employees.
Recall that back in July last year, a US House bill to defund the NSA failed by just 12 votes, 205 to 217, after concerted opposition from the White House and leadership of both parties. A majority of Democratic representatives, though, voted for the bill. Here's what journalist Glenn Greenwald, who's exposed much of the NSA surveillance, wrote about that vote:
To say that there is a major sea change underway - not just in terms of surveillance policy but broader issues of secrecy, trust in national security institutions, and civil liberties - is to state the obvious...The only defenders of the NSA at this point are the decaying establishment leadership of both political parties whose allegiance is to the sprawling permanent power faction in Washington and the private industry that owns and controls it. They're aligned against long-time liberals, the new breed of small government conservatives, the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, many of their own members, and increasingly the American people, who have grown tired of, and immune to, the relentless fear-mongering.
Libertarian conservatives and liberals made common cause over pot legalization in Washington—is criminalizing overreaching electronic surveillance next?