DRESDEN, Tenn. May 7, 2015– Last year, I introduced a bill that would have banned the State of Tennessee from providing any material assistance for the NSA’s unconstitutional mass data collection. Most Tennesseans don’t know it, but their tax dollars are used by the NSA to violate their rights every single day at a data center in East Tennessee, and the State readily and happily hands over the resources.
The Tennessee Fourth Amendment Protection Act would have impeded the NSA by “refusing material support, participation, or assistance, to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, or order which purports to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person, place and thing to be searched and seized.
This bill was killed almost immediately. However, on Thursday, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA’s data collection is blatantly illegal.
Because President Obama’s NSA is too busy unconstitutionally spying on ordinary American citizens, as if we were terrorists, they have yet to stop a single terrorist attack. I am thankful to see that the Tennessee Fourth Amendment Protection Act has, in some way, been vindicated. It is a shame that this legislation was not passed. Thursday’s decision by the Court proves that the State of Tennessee has been happily complicit in the shredding of the Fourth Amendment, and I am thankful for the Court’s opinion.