Republicans in the Maryland House of Delegates want to hit the National Security Agency where it hurts by denying material support to the spy shop’s Fort Meade Headquarters. The legislation introduced by Republican Delegates Smigiel, Dwyer, Glass, Kipke, McComas, McDermott, Parrott,and Serafini is called The Fourth Amendment Protection Act. The synopsis of this bill is as follows:
FOR the purpose of stating the policy of the State concerning the collection of certain electronic data or metadata of a person without a warrant; prohibiting an agency of the State, a political subdivision of the State, an employee of an agency or political subdivision, or a corporation providing services on behalf of the State or a political subdivision from engaging in certain activities relating to the collection of certain electronic data or metadata of a person; providing for certain penalties; making the provisions of this Act severable; making this Act an emergency measure; and generally relating to the collection of certain10electronic data or metadata of a person without a warrant.
U.S. News and World Report explains what this would mean to the NSA if passed.
The bill would deprive NSA facilities water and electricity carried over public utilities, ban the use of NSA-derived evidence in state courts and prevent state universities from partnering with the NSA on research.
State or local officials ignoring the NSA sanctions would be fired, local governments refusing to comply would lose state grant funds and companies would be forever barred from state contracts.
The bill was filed as emergency legislation and requires support of three-fifths of delegates to pass. It was referred to the chamber’s judiciary committee.
NSA facilities in Maryland use a massive amount of water and electricity, the supply of which might be jeopardized by the legislation.
The agency signed a contract with Howard County, Md., for water to cool a computer center under construction at Fort Meade, The Washington Post reported Jan. 2. The deal reportedly involves up to 5 million gallons of water a day for nearly $2 million a year. As of 2006 the agency headquarters purchased as much electricity from Baltimore Gas & Electric as the city of Annapolis, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The legislation is being promoted by The Tenth Amendment Center and similar bills introduced in states like Arizona and Tennessee are finding some bi-partisan support.