Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Restore the Fourth!

By Reginald Johnson            

     A grassroots movement has formed to fight back against the dragnet government surveillance exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    “Restore the Fourth” recently organized protests against the spying, which involves government monitoring of both phone and Internet communications.

   On Independence Day, July 4th, the group held rallies around the country targeting the surveillance begun under former President George W. Bush and expanded under President Barack Obama.

   “Restore the Fourth” takes its name from the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which says  “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

   Members of “Restore the Fourth” maintain that the sweeping NSA surveillance of phone and Internet records of millions of Americans violates the Fourth Amendment and must be ended.

   President Obama has defended the spying, saying it’s been approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court and is a vital tool in stopping terrorist acts.

   A majority of both Republicans and Democrats have also supported the need for spying on citizens, citing the war on terror.

   The administration has launched an intensive effort to capture Snowden, a former private contractor with the NSA, and bring him up on charges of having violated the Espionage Act due to his release of classified information. Snowden fled first to Hong Kong, and then to Russia. He is believed now to be in the Moscow Airport, where he is attempting to gain asylum to another country, possibly in Latin America.

   The “Restore the Fourth” campaign is supported by other privacy groups, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Stop Watching Us and the Internet Defense League.

  The rallies on the 4th brought out people from both the left and right.  A demonstration at the courthouse in Louisville, Ky. saw conservatives join with liberal Democrats carrying signs like “Privacy is our right” and “No Spying on Americans,”  according a story in the Courier-Journal.

  Fred Gittner of Southern Indiana, who was wearing a tea-party shirt, held a sign next to self-described liberal Democrat Patty Call, of Crestwood, Ky.

  “At least we can agree on this,” she said. “Basically, spying on everyone, without a warrant, is going too far.”


No comments:

Post a Comment