Bluffdale, UT — The Utah Highway Patrol has abundant evidence that a large, conspicuous facility in Bluffdale is being used to commit an ongoing felony – specifically, stalking and harassment of literally millions of people. Rather than conducting an investigation or arresting suspects, the state police are abetting the crime by serving as lookouts for the perpetrators – in exchange for money.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, during the first three months of 2015 the UHP received $1,033,850 by the National Security Agency to deploy at least one trooper to patrol the perimeter of the agency’s controversial “Data Center” in Bluffdale. That data farm collects and stores information harvested by the NSA through its unconstitutional mass eavesdropping program. This includes “metadata” on nearly all telephone calls made in the U.S., and an imponderable huge volume of information collected through surveillance of raw internet traffic.

Predictably, the NSA and its supporters describe the discriminate cyber-dragnet as an indispensable “national security” initiative. However, NSA whistleblower William Binney, who helped develop the agency’s surveillance technology, points out that “when you take in all this data about individuals in the country and around the world, that gives you power over them. So you have the ability to blackmail them…. If they don’t know something about you, but they know something about someone you care about, that’s also leverage.”

As described by Binney, the NSA’s conduct constitutes stalking under Utah law. Section 76-5-106.5 of the Utah Code describes stalking as “acts in which the actor follows, monitors, observes, photographs, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person … directly, indirectly, or through any third party, by any action, method, device, or means” in a fashion that would cause a reasonable person “to fear for that person’s own safety, or the safety of a third person,” or that would cause the victim “to suffer emotional distress.” (Emphasis added) This would include the use of “a computer, the internet, text messaging, or any electronic means to commit an act” covered by the statute.

The statute specifies as well that it is not a defense that the accused party “was not given notice that the … conduct was unwanted” or that he “did not intend to cause the victim fear or other emotional distress.” Stalking is classified as a second-degree felony if the perpetrator “used a dangerous weapon” or “other means of force likely to produce death or serious injury.”

As a federal agency, the NSA certainly has dangerous weapons at its disposal, including those carried by its hirelings in the Utah Highway Patrol. The agency has also been given abundant notice of the fact that its unconstitutional activities are inflicting fear and emotional distress on residents of Utah and throughout the United States. Several protests against the mass surveillance program and the NSA collection facility have been carried out in Utah by advocates of the Bill of Rights.

The case for treating the NSA’s Utah facility as a crime scene is fortified by the fact that on at least a dozen occasions that the agency will admit, its employees have been caught cyber-stalking boyfriends, girlfriends, casual acquaintances, or perfect strangers.

During the last state legislative session, Republican Representative Marc Roberts proposed a bill that would forbid local and state agencies to provide “material support or assistance to any federal data collection and surveillance agency.” That bill, which didn’t find any traction in the Legislature, was drafted in response to the extraordinary demands the NSA spy facility is making on the local water supply for the purpose of cooling its mainframes.

If Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and the state police were fastidious in applying the law as it exists, no new legislation would be necessary in order to shut down the NSA’s cyber-stalking facility. According to the “Support Your Local Police” mythology, federal abuses of this kind demonstrate the value of having locally accountable law enforcement bodies that will defend the imperiled citizens whose taxes fund those agencies.

The problem, of course, is that “local” and “state” police departments are now part of a seamlessly integrated Homeland Security apparatus devoted to controlling the population, rather than protecting it – and it’s likely that no “local” police agency will turn away a federal bribe to act as accomplices in crimes against the Bill of Rights. This is particularly true of agencies — like the Utah Highway Patrol — that face multiple lawsuits arising from the criminal misconduct of their most highly decorated officers.