Target: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas
Goal: Support bill that would cut off power and water to mass data-gathering centers.
An NSA surveillance center in Texas could soon have its power and water cut off by the state, effectively forcing the shutdown of the facility. House Bill 3916 would make it illegal for any Texan power or water provider to supply customers which engage in the collection and storage of the email or telephone records of American citizens without a warrant. If passed, the Texas Cryptologic Center in San Antonio would be unable to power or cool its massive supercomputers and would be forced to close its doors entirely.
Intelligence experts suspect that the Texas Cryptologic Center is a massive data warehouse where communications are intercepted, filtered, and decrypted before being sent to NSA headquarters in Maryland to be analyzed. According to author and investigative journalist James Bamford, the facility in Texas was built to house sophisticated surveillance equipment that the Maryland center could not accommodate due to electricity constraints. Bamford suspects that the facility is large and powerful enough to store all the information the NSA has ever gathered.
If the measure is successful, it could prove a massive obstacle to the NSA’s surveillance of ordinary Americans. Because the state of Texas maintains a power grid independent of the rest of the country, it is completely within its authority to withhold service. Sign the petition below to show your support for the passing of this bill, which could set a precedent in the fight against unwarranted mass surveillance.
Dear Governor Greg Abbott,
Recently proposed House Bill 3916 seeks to make it illegal for Texan power and water companies to supply resources to mass data gathering facilities. It would prohibit these companies from supplying resources to any federal agency which engages in the”routine surveillance or collection and storage of bulk telephone or e-mail records or related metadata concerning any citizen of the United States.” If this measure were to pass into law, it would effectively force the shutdown of one of the NSA’s major data hubs, the Texas Cryptologic Center.
Such a move would not only be a huge blow to the NSA’s capabilities for the surveillance of ordinary Americans, but set a precedent for state resistance against the overreach of federal data gathering. We, the undersigned, support the passage of House Bill 3916 and ask you to do the same.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: AnonMoos via Creative Commons