Instead of begging Congress to rein in the NSA, or counting on the federal courts, the OffNow campaign will focus on state and local efforts to undermine the NSA’s ability to unconstitutionally monitor phone calls, emails and other private data.
The first phase of OffNow’s multi-step strategy features state legislation that will address NSA spying in four different ways.
First, it will prohibit state and local agencies within their jurisdiction from providing any material support to the NSA. Take Utah for example. The data collection center there uses 1.7 million gallons of water per day. A subdivision of the state of Utah provides that water.
Utah can turn it off.
Second, it will make information unconstitutionally gathered by the NSA and shared with law enforcement inadmissible in state court.
Third, it will defund universities serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds.
And finally, the legislation makes corporations doing business with the NSA ineligible for state or local government contracts.
The OffNow coalition strategy rests on the anti-commandeering doctrine. In at least four cases the Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot commandeer state agencies or resources to enforce or implement federal acts. In other words, nothing in the Constitution says the states have to cooperate with the federal government as it violates your rights.