Extreme Rights Violations Require Historic Response

August 5, 2014 – The OffNow projecteff-nsa-utah-data-center-e1407215403699 has an ambitious plan to stop illegal NSA spying.

 Some even call it audacious!
Instead of depending on politicians in Washington D.C. to rein in their own program, OffNow came up with a strategy to undermine the NSA and other federal agencies engaged in unconstitutional surveillance through state action. While states can’t physically stop the NSA from operating within their borders, they don’t have to lift a finger to help the spy agency violate your rights.
With this in mind, the OffNow project developed a piece of legislation that prohibits any material support from the state or its political subdivision to any federal agency collecting electronic data without a warrant. This becomes significant when you realize that states actually lend a great deal of support. For instance, the NSA data center in Bluffdale, Utah, will reportedly use 1.7 million gallons of waters to cool its computers once fully operational. The city of Bluffdale supplies that water. It doesn’t have to.
Utah can turn it off.
No water means no cooling. No cooling means the NSA can’t store your illegally gathered emails and phone records.
This just represents a single example. State and local entities provide resources to virtually every NSA facility. OffNow plans to turn them off as long as the federal government insists on ignoring the Fourth Amendment and Americans’ basic privacy rights.
Virtually all Americans want to see the NSA reined in. But a lot of people I talk to express some discomfort in shutting off the water to an NSA facility, even when they understand the rock solid legal justification.
I understand the reluctance to take such direct action against the spy agency. It seems a little over the top.
Maybe a bit extreme.
But let me ask you a question: at some point don’t extreme violations of your most basic privacy rights require extreme action?
We’ve reachedOffNowCampaign-1024x600 that point.
Former NSA technical chief William Binney recently spoke at a conference in London, England. He once worked for the agency as a high-level code breaker during the Cold War. He quit the NSA in disgust after 9/11 because of the agency’s move toward mass surveillance. Addressing the lack of real due process in the FISA Court, he said the NSA commits trillions of constitutional violations.
“The FISA court has only the government’s point of view. There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for US domestic audiences and you can double that globally.”
Fifteen to 20 trillion.
Let that sink in.
And turning off the water to the NSA facility in Bluffdale goes too far?
It’s not like Congress and the president haven’t had time to solve the problem. In 1975, Sen. Frank Church warned America about the federal spy program, saying that if a dictator took over the NSA it “could enable [him] to impose total tyranny.”
Total tyranny.
And that was before the advent of the Internet.
Here we are almost 40 years later and Congress hasn’t done a thing about it. Politicians in D.C. have repeatedly failed to fix things, even in the wake of leaked documents and damning revelations.
After all of this, some people think we should still play nice.
No way.
This is historic. And only an historic resistance will do.