Legislators in Tennessee have introduced a bill that would ban the state from providing water and electricity to an NSA data center which is currently involved in building supercomputers designed to crack encrypted data. The Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which mirrors legislation introduced in other states, would prohibit local and state agencies from “providing material support to…any federal agency claiming the power to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant.” The bill also disincentivizes local companies from doing business with the NSA.
“We have an out of control federal agency spying on pretty much everybody in the world. I don’t think the state of Tennessee should be helping the NSA violate the Constitution and the basic privacy rights of its citizens – and we don’t have to,” said State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville), who introduced the bill. “This bill may not completely stop the NSA, but it will darn sure stop Tennessee from participating in unjustified and illegal activities.” The bill’s language that bars government utilities from providing water and electricity to the NSA is crucial because Tennessee is home to the Multiprogram Research Facility (MRF) located on the East Campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Inside this facility, NSA researchers are currently working on building supercomputers able to crack encrypted information which is set to be stored at the NSA’s newly built mammoth data center in Bluffdale, Utah. More