Tennessee Lawmakers Look For Ways To Take NSA Down A Peg

Jan 28, 2014

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Some Tennessee lawmakers are considering a push to cut off water and electricity to facilities run by entities like the National Security Agency, which they see as spying unconstitutionally. 

Nashville Public Radio's Daniel Potter has the story.  

It’s not even clear Tennessee has an NSA facility, some claims there’s one at the federal complex in Oak Ridge but a spokesman there couldn’t say for sure.

Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) concedes there’s not a ton the proposal can do about federal surveillance.

“So what levers does Tennessee actually have in terms of trying to shut down the NSA here? So what we’re really trying to do is say ‘listen, if the federal government does it, we can’t stop them. But we’re not going to subsidize it, we’re not going to fund, we’re not going to be supportive of things that are doing those activities.’”

Several states have eyed similar bills pushed by a group called ‘Off Now’.

One other privacy protection bill lawmakers are working on would ensure Tennessee police don’t help operate a kind of checkpoint reported in other states. In such cases, federal contractors ask stopped drivers for DNA samples, for instance, a mouth swab. There again, the state can’t stop such measures altogether. But the measure on it’s way to the Senate floor would try to make sure Tennessee play no part.

Click here to view WPLN's story.