State Sets Massive Precedent, Passes Law To Effectively Ban The NSA

Source: Activist Post

MAY 20, 2018

By Rachel Blevins

Michigan has become the first state to ban the National Security Agency’s intrusive data collection practices by passing a law that prohibits law enforcement and state agencies from turning over personal data to the federal government without due process.

The Fourth Amendment Rights Protection Act, or HB4430, will go into effect next month after it passed the Michigan state legislature with overwhelming support and only one “no” vote.

The text of the bill states that its purpose is

to prohibit this state and certain other governmental agents, employees, and entities in this state from assisting a federal agency in obtaining certain forms of data without a warrant; and to prohibit certain uses of certain data collected without a warrant.

According to the new law, the state and its political subdivisions “shall not assist, participate with, or provide material support or resources to a federal agency to enable it to collect or to facilitate in the collection or use of a person’s electronic data or metadata,” unless at least or more of the following criteria are met:

  1. The person has given informed consent.
    2. The action is pursuant to a warrant that is based upon probable cause and particularly describes the person, place, or thing to be searched or seized.
    3. The action is in accordance with a legally recognized exception to warrant requirements.
    4. The action will not infringe on any reasonable expectation of privacy the person may have.
    5. This state or a political subdivision of this state collected the electronic data or metadata legally.”

As the Washington Examiner reported, the new law is “the biggest accomplishment yet growing out of efforts to block water to a massive NSA data-storage center in Bluffdale, Utah.” Similar laws have been proposed and have fallen short in states such as Alaska, Maryland, South Carolina, and Washington.

The Fourth Amendment Rights Protection Act in Michigan claims the “electronic data” that will be protected from the NSA includes “an electronic communication or the use of an electronic communication service,” “the precise or approximate location of the sender or recipients of an electronic communication,” and “the identity of an individual or device involved in the communication.”

Michigan State Rep. Martin Howrylak, a sponsor of the bill, told the Examiner that he believes its passage “speaks to the fact that a lot of the domestic surveillance of American citizens is highly unpopular.”

“It hangs up a sign on Michigan’s door saying, ‘No violation of the Fourth Amendment, look elsewhere,'” Howrylak said. “Democrats, as well as Republicans, would certainly stand very strong in our position on what this law means.”

While Howrylak said he thinks the law makes “a strong court case saying this is what the state intends,” he hopes other states will join in by passing similar legislation, in an effort to cripple the NSA’s illegal activities.

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