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New Hampshire House Gives Initial Approval to Bill Ending Support of Warrantless Federal Spying Programs
CONCORD, N.H. (Feb. 15, 2017)

Some quotes from the link are posted below. Click on the link to read the rest of the text.

the New Hampshire House gave initial approval to a bill that would ban “material support or resources” to warrantless federal spying. The vote was 199-153.

Rep. Neal Kurk and Rep. Carol McGuire, along with two cosponsors, introduced House Bill 171 (HB171). The legislation would prohibit the state or its political subdivisions from assisting a federal agency in the collection of electronic data without a warrant.

Neither the state nor its political subdivisions shall assist, participate with, or provide material support or resources to enable or facilitate a federal agency in the collection or use of a person’s electronic data or metadata, without that person’s informed consent, or without a warrant issued by a judge and based upon probable cause that particularly describes the person, place, or thing to be searched or seized, or without acting in accordance with a judicially-recognized exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment to the Unites States Constitution.

Today, the full House gave HB171 initial approval with an “ought to pass” recommendation by a 199-153 vote. It now moves to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Kurk explained certain bills to go to a second committee after passage by the full chamber. The second committee doesn’t change policy, just makes the bill work better. There could be some changes to the language, but not of the substance.

The feds share and tap into vast amounts of information gathered at the state and local level through a program known as the “information sharing environment” or ISE. In other words, these partnerships facilitate federal efforts to track the movements of, and obtain and store information on, millions of Americans. This includes monitoring phone calls, emails, web browsing history and text messages, all with no warrant, no probable cause, and without the people even knowing it.

Because the federal government relies heavily on partnerships and information sharing with state and local law enforcement agencies, passage of HB171 could potentially hinder warrantless surveillance in the state. For instance, if the feds wanted to engage in mass surveillance on specific groups or political organizations in New Hampshire, it would have to proceed without state or local assistance. That would likely prove problematic.

State and local law enforcement agencies regularly provide surveillance data to the federal government through ISE and Fusion Centers. They collect and store information from cell-site simulators (AKA “stingrays”), automated license plate readers (ALPRs), drones, facial recognition systems, and even “smart” or “advanced” power meters in homes.

Passage of HB171 could set the stage to end this sharing of warrantless information with the federal government. It would also prohibit state and local agencies from actively assisting in warrantless surveillance operations.

By including a prohibition on participation in the illegal collection and use of electronic data and metadata by the state, HB171 would also prohibit what NSA former Chief Technical Director William Binney called the country’s “greatest threat since the Civil War.”

The bill would ban the state from obtaining or making use of electronic data or metadata obtained by the NSA without a warrant.

HB171 rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on four Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone.

The legislation will need to clear the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee before moving forward in legislative process.