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New Bill Would Limit NSA’s Access To California Records, Utilities

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Tony Lopez Tony Lopez
Tony comes to Sacramento from the CBS station in Denver, Colorado,...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California lawmakers have introduced a bill that would ban state agencies from cooperating with the National Security Agency.

Democratic State Sen. Ted Lieu and other California legislators say they have a problem with how the NSA is dealing with possible dangers.

“I do agree with the NSA that this is a dangerous world that we live in,” he said. “The NSA has been violating the constitutional rights of all Americans.”

Lieu says that includes millions of Californians whose phone records have been monitored by the NSA.

“We’re trying to get the NSA to change its ways.

It’s a familiar rallying cry that began when Edward Snowden leaked classified documents to the media blowing the whistle on how the agency he used to work for spies on everyday Americans as it looks for possible security threats.

The bipartisan bill introduced Tuesday at the state capitol would deny access to power and water from public utilities to NSA facilities in California. It would also slap sanctions on companies that try to fill that void, and would outlaw NSA partnerships with state universities.

But that’s not all.

“The bill bans California agencies and officials from cooperating with the NSA when they seize electronic or meta data on our citizens, unless NSA can produce a specific warrant,” Lieu said.

The proposed legislation comes at a time when President Barack Obama plans a sit-down with intelligence officials and congressional leaders to take a closer look at how the U.S. gathers potentially vital security information.

That’s information some argue is collected in less than a constitutional way.

“I think it’s important for states like California to speak up and assert our state’s rights,” Lieu said.

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