Reddit Rallies to Restore Your Privacy Rights on July 4th #restorethefourth
By Daniel Zeevi
Restore the Fourth is a non-partisan, non-violent protest gathering nationwide on July 4th to raise awareness about unconstitutional surveillance methods that are currently being employed by the U.S. Government. What started out as a grassroots movement 24 days ago on Reddit, has turned into a full-blown demand by Reddit and the rest of the community of individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Stop Watching Us coalition. What they are hoping to achieve is an increase in transparency and push potential reform over how domestic surveillance programs are truly operated.
Many folks have forgotten these days, but according to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
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.
So on July 4th, you can join the thousands of people in over 50 cities across the United States who plan to protest the surveillance methods employed by the U.S. government!
You can find out more and sign up for your local protest at www.restorethefourth.net.
There are also movements forming in Canada and the UK. And if you are concerned about these issues but can’t make any of the rallies there are many other ways according to Reddit for you to get involved:
- Give your senators and congressmen a call and tell them how you feel in a very polite, courteous way. This number will connect you – all you need is a zip code. 1-STOP-323-NSA (1-786-732-3672)
- Use the EFF’s “Demand Answers Now” template to email your representatives (In the U.S.)
- Or the EFF’s “Demand Accountability”(International)
- Join the Stop Watching Us Petition
- Do your own research and learn more about the issues and important developments.
Here is an excerpt from the SoptWatchingUs coalition letter (read full letter):
“As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with a terrorist organization….This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously, guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, and protect their right to privacy.”
The 4th amendment was created in spirit explicitly to prevent such government programs from taking place.
On one hand we grant the government sizeable power to do everything possible to protect the country from real threats, but have too many liberties been taken away from us citizens in doing so? Can we shed a better light of transparency to better determine in the future what really constitutes a reasonable search and seizure of information online?