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Anti-surveillance activists want to shut off the water to the NSA's Utah data center

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no water utah ad
no water utah ad

As a federal agency, the NSA can often seem above local concerns like water management — but a new campaign in Utah wants to change that, according to a report in Talking Points Memo. The campaign comes from an advocacy group called the Tenth Amendment Center, which is currently organizing a number of coordinated actions aimed at making the NSA's life as difficult as possible. This one springs from a realization that the NSA's massive and much-delayed Utah data center relies on the local government for basic utilities like electricity and, more importantly, water. If the local municipality votes not to provide the data center with the 1.7 million gallons of water it needs to cool its massive server farm, the NSA coud be left in a very uncomfortable spot.

The campaign is unlikely to shutter the data center entirely, but it's a sign of the new pressures the agency faces in the wake of the Snowden leaks, at both international and local levels. Tenth Amendment is also pushing state-level legislation in California that would bar state employees from cooperating with the NSA, and bar NSA-contracted corporations from doing business with the state. As executive director Michael Boldin told TPM, "Sooner or later you got to just sit down and say, 'No, we're not going to participate in this.'"