While the Oklahoma legislature can’t pull the plug on the National Security Agency, Sen. Nathan Dahm believes the state does have the ability to make it more difficult for them to use unconstitutionally gathered information against citizens.
Dahm, R-Tulsa, is the son of missionaries and grew up in Eastern Europe where governments routinely spied on their own citizens and encouraged citizens to spy and inform on one another.
“I saw first-hand how people were impacted by domestic spying—it made them fearful about what they said or did or who they talked to,” Dahm said. “The NSA has been spying on American citizens claiming it’s necessary to fight terrorism, but the truth is when governments are spying on their own citizens, it’s not about protecting them—it’s about controlling them.”
With the aim of curtailing some of the NSA’s overreach into the lives of Oklahomans, Dahm has filed Senate Bill 1252, called the “Fourth Amendment Protection Act.”
“The Fourth Amendment says our citizens cannot be subjected to unreasonable search and seizure. Law enforcement has to have a warrant, supported by probably cause and approved by a judge,” Dahm said. “My bill makes it clear that our state will refuse material support, participation or assistance to any federal entity that is collecting data on Oklahomans without a legal warrant.”
The legislation would prohibit any government entity at the local, county, or state level from providing assistance to the NSA. It would also forbid employees of local, county and state government agencies and jurisdictions, as well as corporations doing business with them, from helping entities such as the NSA. It also prohibits the use of any information passed along from the NSA to local law enforcement if it was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
“The NSA has collected electronic data and metadata on millions of law-abiding citizens for no reason—they are treating everyone as if they are guilty until proven innocent, and that flies in the face of the rights and freedoms this country was founded on,” Dahm said. “The Fourth Amendment Protection Act will help guard Oklahomans from these blatant violations of our constitutional rights.”