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NH Gubernatorial Candidate Takes Aim at NSA, Securing Privacy

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Annabelle Bamforth
New Hampshire-based writer Annabelle Bamforth is TruthInMedia.com's editor-in-chief, focused on breaking the left/right paradigm through new media and local politics. To share a news tip, contact annabelle@truthinmedia.com.

Manchester, N.H.– Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway has released a series of proposals to protect New Hampshire citizens from the overreaching powers of the NSA as well as other forms of data collection. His “Privacy First” plan is the first of several “Solutions First” proposals that outline the initiatives he would take as Governor.

“I believe strongly that privacy is an issue engrained in American culture, law, tradition and in the Constitution.  The authors of this great document may not have known the technology we would have more than two centuries later, but they did know government, when given the opportunity, will encroach on the liberties of individuals.  We must pro-actively stop this over-reach by the federal, state and local governments,” Hemingway said in his release.

Massive data collection has become a daily intrusion on the lives of Americans, and Hemingway has created several concepts to prevent this data from being used against New Hampshire residents.

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“There are several things a Governor can do on the issue of privacy.  However, the Governor must be willing to be bold, be innovative and be creative in pursuit of privacy,” said Hemingway.  “Sitting back letting the NSA metadata collection continue, the data collection of our students continue and the medical data of our citizenry continue without one word of opposition or attempt to protect Granite Staters is exactly the kind of Status Quo governing we don’t need. This is just one in a series of several pro-active solutions I will be releasing over the months of this campaign.”

In each of these sections of “Privacy First”, Hemingway proposes introducing legislation to prohibit the State of New Hampshire from using different methods of data collection against its residents.

“Privacy First” addresses the issue of patient-specific data related to Obamacare. ACA legislation overrides HIPPA with its “navigators” that are allowed to access private data of patients. Hemingway plans to implement legislation that prohibits the state, as well as insurance companies licensed in NH, from collecting an individual’s health and healthcare information.

In addition to protecting patient information, Hemingway supports the privacy of students as well. Common Core “uses mass collection and analysis of student information to implement itself as a program. This information includes everything from a student’s name and address to his or her social security number, family information, attendance and grades.  This information is then shared with third party research groups and private companies.” Hemingway’s “Privacy First” would call for prevention of third-party access to such data.

Hemingway also plans to protect residents’ emails from being accessed by law enforcement and government officials. In his “Privacy First” plan, legislation would be introduced to require state law enforcement and other government agencies at state and municipal level to obtain a warrant before asking service providers to deliver a private individual’s emails and other electronic information. Hemingway plans to protect the privacy of cell phone users as well by calling for legislation to prevent government agencies from being able to collect cell phone users’ location information from wireless providers without a warrant from a judge.

It’s widely known now that the NSA is collecting massive amounts of data on American citizens at a rapid, uncontrollable pace, and at this time there’s “no requirement for a judge to sign a warrant or approve of this data collection prior to its collection.” In New Hampshire, Hemingway would encourage the state to adopt legislation that prohibits the use of such data in the courts without a “properly executed warrant signed by a judge prior to and authorizing data collection.”

Additionally, Hemingway would encourage legislation that prohibits the use of facial recognition biometrics “without the proper exercise of the legal system, including a properly executed warrant signed by a judge prior to and authorizing data collection of a specific individual(s),” and would call for it to be prohibited in the NH courts to be used as evidence.

Hemingway supports currently proposed legislation including HB 1619, a bill that prohibits acquiring sensitive information such as utility, financial and insurance data by state, local municipality, private entity or individual without a search warrant and  probable cause; HB 1212, a bill barring colleges from access to personal social media accounts of any current or prospective students; and HB 1533, bill would require a search warrant from law enforcement before being allowed to search any portable electronic device.

Hemingway is currently fundraising for his gubernatorial effort with “Moneybomb Madness” at AndrewHemingway.com and is the first major candidate to accept Bitcoin donations. He will be on the radio with Ben Swann today, March 25th, at 1pm EST. Hemingway’s full “Privacy First Plan” is available here.

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