Utah may cut off NSA's water in protest of mass surveillance


#1

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#2

Wouldn’t it be nice.


#3

If your tap doesn’t work, your taps won’t work.


#4

I can just imagine a separate building holding a bunch of porta-potties… Yuk.

Kudos to the guys in Utah for this!


#5

If that doesn’t work, they could always just frack nearby.


#6

Looks like the State may require a new State, outside the extant States, to keep its stuff in. What a state to be in.


#7

I’m no lawyer but as written, it sounds like the United States Census Bureau (which collects data on US citizens without either the citizen’s consent or a search warrant) falls into the category of “federal data collection and surveillance agency.” US code Title 13, section 101, subsection a says:

The Secretary may collect decennially statistics relating—
(1) to the defective, dependent, and delinquent classes; and
(2) to crime, including judicial statistics pertaining thereto.

So no Utah government official can provide any assistance to the Census Bureau? Criminals didn’t exactly grant permission to the government to collect the following data about them:

(b) The statistics authorized by subsection (a) of this section shall include information upon the following questions, namely: age, sex, color, nativity, parentage, literacy by race, color, nativity, and parentage, and such other questions relating to such subjects as the Secretary deems proper.

This doesn’t even take into account section 141, which lays out the rules for the decennial census (part of which says that Federal benefit programs shall use data from the latest census in determining the amount of benefits.) And yes, refusal to answer questions is covered in section 221 and is punishable by a fine. So you can refuse consent (and be fined); if you do and then the Census Bureau gathers data on you (or if you’re a criminal and it gathers data on your prosecution) it technically sounds like it falls afoul of this proposed law.

And ANY citizen of the state can bring an action in a district court to enforce the provisions of this chapter – so if someone is strongly anti-government they could refuse to answer the Census Bureau’s questions, find that the Bureau gathered data about them anyway, and file suit against the Utah government for working with the Census Bureau and seek the penalty of having the Utah government be denied state funds? [Whether or not they’d WIN that suit is another matter, but they could bring it.]


#8

I get your point, but that’s a bad example. The census is a Consitutionally mandated activity. Most of what the NSA is doing is prohibited by the 4th Amendment.


#9

They already have DC and Guam. They’re spoiled, I tell you.


#10

these things have a way of never coming through, but oh, how happy I would be if it did! I reckon I’d dance a jig.


#11

How about the fact that the major western IRS center is in Utah? That’s a “federal data collection and surveillance agency.”


#12

Don’t forget Puerto Rico, and various huge miliatry bases in friendly (and not so friendly, aka Guantanamo) countries.


#13

Using siege tactics against an opponent that has you surrounded? At least Lieutenant General Chesty Puller would be proud.


#14

Maybe they can use the same kind of magic that is being used to make what the NSA is doing legal and constitutional in the first place to make this law mean what they want it to mean?
There also seems to be plenty of precedent for the idea that “it’s OK when the good guys do it”, so I have no problem with that.


#15

the water isn’t only used for the bathrooms… most, if not all of it, is used for cooling the millions of tons of air conditioning for the server farms!


#16

the water isn’t only used for the bathrooms…
most, if not all of it, is used for cooling the millions of tons of air conditioning for the server farms!


#17

Hoho!

This is pretty fat.

Fuck you, NSA.


#18

I’m all for kicking sand in the face of the NSA, but this sets a lousy precedent.

Yes, what the NSA is doing is illegal and unconstitutional. But American politics seem to have degenerated to the point where accusations of illegal behaviour are just another tactic for ginning up support from the base. If state and local governments can deny services to any federal agency on the grounds that they believe that agency’s actions are illegal, then one of the cornerstones of democracy - ruling and being ruled in turn - is smashed.

I’m all for civil disobedience as a means for the people to register their disapproval, but that’s not what this is. If this tactic is permissible, then don’t be surprised when it’s used by Republicans against the Affordable Care Act or immigration reform.


#19

A local news article yesterday reported that the need is for over one million gallons of water a day, mostly for cooling the servers.


#20

A local news article yesterday reported that the need is for over one million gallons of water a day, mostly for cooling the servers.