A Minnesota lawmaker introduced a bill this week that would effectively make National Security Agency (NSA) spying illegal in the Gopher State, Sputnik News is reporting.
Republican Senator Branden Petersen introduced SF 33, which forbids evidence caught by illegal NSA surveillance inadmissible in court.
“A government entity may not obtain personal identifying information concerning an individual without a search warrant. A court order granting access to this information must be issued only if the government entity shows that there is probable cause for belief that the individual who is the subject of the personal identifying information is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a criminal offense.”
Two years ago, former NSA contractor Ed Snowden revealed, through a series of leaked documents, that the NSA was routinely collecting data about Americans — even Americans not suspected of any crimes, according to The Tenth Amendment Center. Called “metadata,” the data gathered by the NSA, without a warrant, reveals billions of data points about ordinary Americans on a day-to-day basis, including their locations.
The bill’s sponsor wants to see the government stop snooping into the lives of ordinary Americans.
“It seems like we’re always addressing issues after the fact when it comes to certain government technologies and methodologies. It does make more sense to simply address it in a more universal way so that explicitly the protections of the Fourth Amendment are extended to electronic data.”
Last fall, former NSA technical chief William Binney condemned NSA spying, calling it “the most threatening situation to our constitutional republic since the Civil War.”
“That’s what happens when you allow this kind of assembly of information – that’s so much power. That’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super-steroids. This is not compatible with any form of democracy at all.”
Last fall, Reuters issued a report which concluded that the vast majority of the data gathered by the NSA has nothing to do with terrorism or national security at all, and instead deals with routine local law-enforcement issues, such as drug trafficking. The NSA shares such data with local law enforcement agencies; Petersen’s bill would make such evidence inadmissible in court.
Petersen’s bill notwithstanding, not all Minnesota politicians are on board with curtailing the NSA. One of Minnesota’s U.S. Senators, Amy Klobuchar, has gone on record as supporting NSA spying, saying it’s prevented further terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11.
As of this post, it is unclear what chance Petersen’s anti-NSA-spying bill has of passing in the Minnesota legislature.
[Image courtesy of: PC World]