LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new piece of legislation is seeking to protect Californians from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports the California State Senate has voted overwhelmingly to approve Senate Bill 828.
Passed in a bipartisan 31-1 vote on Monday, Senate Bill 828 bans state agencies, officials and corporations from giving any material support, participation or assistance to any federal agency to collect electronic or metadata — including emails and text messages — of any person unless a warrant is issued that specifically describes the person, place and thing to be searched or seized.
Sen. Ted Lieu, who joint-authored SB 828 with Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), said the legislation comes in response to recent revelations of the NSA’s “massive phone and internet records collection program on Americans.”
“The NSA is violating our Constitutional rights on a daily basis by doing a blanket search-and-seizure of all our phone records of every American for the last several years, and I want to put a stop to that,” Lieu said.
SB 828 also urges Congress to pass legislation that would specifically bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act to collect records, including telephone records “pertaining to persons not subject to an investigation under the USA PATRIOT Act.”
According to Lieu, records show the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, Jr., initially denied the existence of the NSA’s blanket phone surveillance of all Americans. Multiple media reports regarding NSA activities have now caused Clapper to admit the NSA has, in fact, been collecting phone information on all 317 million Americans for years, Lieu said.
But Lieu added the resolution was not meant to downplay the work of the NSA in tracking potential threats.
“The NSA is doing a great job, but they need to do a great job within the confines of the Constitution,” he said.
It was not immediately clear if or when Congress would respond to Senate Bill 828.