Senator Ted Lieu to introduce bill to ban state from assisting feds with warrantless spying

Senator Ted Lieu

By Sharon Gilbert

Senator Ted Lieu (D-Redondo Beach) will introduce a bill tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 to ban state agencies and officials from assisting the federal government in certain components of its spy activity on Californians. If enacted, the ban would also apply to corporations that provide services to the state.

“The National Security Agency’s massive level of spying and indiscriminate collecting of phone and electronic data on all Americans, including more than 38 million Californians, is a direct threat to our liberty and freedom,” Lieu said in a press release issued today. Tomorrow is the first day of the 2014 legislative session.

The issue of massive spying came to light after Edward Snowden, a computer specialist with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), leaked classified information last year showing the extent to which the federal government spies on its citizens. The Obama Administration downplayed the leaks but eventually admitted the process needed to be “reviewed.”

In support of his bill, Lieu says, “Records show the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, Jr., initially lied to Congress and denied the existence of NSA’s blanket phone surveillance of all Americans. Multiple media reports regarding NSA activities have now caused Clapper to admit he lied and that the NSA has, in fact, been collecting phone information on all 317 million Americans for years. A federal judge recently declared the NSA’s blanket phone monitoring program to be unconstitutional, calling the dragnet ‘near Orwellian.’

“I agree with the NSA that the world is a dangerous place. That is why our founders enacted the Bill of Rights. They understood the grave dangers of an out-of-control federal government.”

Lieu noted that the Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”

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