The majority of the focus of the National Security Agency scandal has been, surprisingly, not so much aimed at the agency but instead on Edward Snowden and the reaction of the Obama administration. Partially this is because what the NSA does and what it’s done wrong pushes the boundaries of what even the technologically minded understands. As we close in on a year since the first leaks, no one has offered any serious suggestion about what Americans can do about it. Until last week, that is.
According to US News & World Report, “Eight Republicans in the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates introduced legislation Thursday that would deny the electronic spy agency ‘material support, participation or assistance in any form from the state, its political subdivisions or companies with state contracts.” This is troubling news for the NSA whose 3 million square-foot headquarters is located in Maryland at Fort Meade. They aren’t kicking the Agency out of the state, just simply making it illegal for them to access public utilities like water and electricity.
The legislation was introduced by Delegate Michael Smigiel, quoted by Fox News, “I want Maryland standing with its back to its people holding a shield. Not facing them holding a sword.” This proposal is “the latest in a series of state-based legislative initiatives” that is meant to ostracize the agency for its “constitutional violations.”
Unlike legislation—which passed in Texas but failed in California—that seeks to limit the kind of surveillance that the NSA excels at, this bill would make it virtually impossible for the agency to continue to operate out of its headquarters. Although, it is doubtful that this law would hold up to any sort of legal challenges the federal government will inevitably raise if the bill passes into law.