the 4th Amendment Protection Act was introduced, SB828. (learn about it here)

STATUS: SB828 was referred to the Committee on Public Safety where it will need to pass by majority vote before the full Senate can consider it.

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW.  It doesn’t matter where in California you live, take these actions today.

1. Call the Committee Chair, Loni Hancock. Strongly, but respectfully urge her to move this important bipartisan bill forward to a vote in her committee. A phone call has 10x the impact of an email.
(916) 651-4009

2. Call the rest of the committee members. Again, be strong, but respectful. Urge each of them to take action to move the bill forward and vote YES on SB828. If they do not commit to a YES vote, ask them why. If they’re undecided, let them know you’ll call back in a few days.
Joel Anderson (R) Vice Chair (916) 651-4036
Kevin de Leon (D) (916) 651-4022
Steve Knight (R)  (916) 651-4021
Carol Liu (D) (916) 651-4025
Holly Mitchell (D) (916) 651-4026
Darrell Steinberg (D) (916) 651-4006

3. Call Back – any NO or UNDECIDED – in 3-4 days.   Ask if they’ve had a chance to review the legislation and what their opposition might be.   Email us at with any information you get.

4.  on Twitter?  Retweet

5.  Write a letter to the editor Look up your local newspaper and submit a letter to the editor voicing your support for SB828. Following strong legal principles, it’s essential that California no longer help the federal government spy on all of us. Passing SB828 will make that happen.

6. Group leaders, send a letter to the committee in support. If you are in a leadership role with a grassroots (or other) group within the state of California, send a letter to the full committee expressing your support for SB828. The committee will be influenced to some degree by the number – and type – of groups which send letters. Keep it to one page, as they tend to just keep a list of groups and those in favor or opposed.

Senate Standing Committee on Public Safety
State Capitol Building, Room 2031
Sacramento, CA 95814

7. Report Back. Tell us how your actions went. Click the button below


The 4th Amendment Protection Act is an important FIRST STEP to stopping NSA spying. The law would be passed on a state level, encouraged and supported by resolutions passed on a local level – and even on campus at universities around the country. You can be sure that this one bill (and no single piece of legislation) will stop the NSA. Once your state completes this first step, there are more…aggressive…measures that will be implemented to push back.

This bill would ban the state from participating in, providing material support, or assisting the mass “spying” (metadata collection, etc) done by the federal government via the NSA. This includes, but is not limited to:

1. Law Enforcement Refusal.
The 4th Amendment Protection Act prohibits the state and any political subdivision in the state from providing material support to any agency collecting information without a warrant describing the person(s), place(s) and thing(s) to be searched or seized. It denies the use of state resources or state funds for these organizations. And, state and local law enforcement would be banned from using information provided by SOD – that’s where local law enforcement is getting unconstitutional, warrantless NSA search info for enforcement actions regarding every-day police work.

2. “We reserve the right to refuse service”
It prohibits the state and any political subdivision in the state from providing services to organizations like the NSA engaging in warrantless spying. This becomes particularly significant when considering a political subdivision of Utah supplies 1.7 million gallons of water to keep the NSA spy grid cool. Turn it off. This also includes a ban on everything from trash collection, use of trash dumps, providing electricity, and the like. Anything and everything – each piece of resistance will make it more difficult and more costly to operate. In some cases, shutting of the water could shut down a spy center without a federal airlift.

3. Ban on corporations
Any corporations filling the space left by a ban on government assistance in #2 above would be forever banned from providing any services for, or on behalf of the state and political subdivisions (local governments). This would give Internet providers and other tech companies economic factors to consider before signing on to turn information over to the NSA.

4. Penalties
There are many. Local governments can lose all funding for assisting the NSA. Employees of the state can be permanently banned from future state employment, and corporations will lose contracts.


Writing in Federalist #46, James Madison said there are “powerful means” to successfully oppose federal acts. Specifically, “A refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.” (learn more here)

This state and local legislative package takes this advice from the “father of the constitution” quite seriously.

In order to be successful, it will be essential to approach this from many fronts. On the local level, resolutions should be passed which pressure the state to pass the 4th Amendment Protection Act. This should occur at the county, city and town level. And, on campus, since the NSA has a strong presence at many universities around the country, resolutions should be passed by student organizations and even the student body government denouncing the NSA and calling for an end to their partnership with the school.


Use the navigation links below for more information on the bill, the strategy, and the historical and constitutional basis.

NSA Spying: Tracking and Action Center
What Can You Do?
About the 4th Amendment Protection Act
About Local Actions
Advice from Madison and Jefferson
The Rosa Parks Method