At 12 p.m. today, July 4, 2013, protesters will rally against the National Security Agency (NSA) at the Colorado State Capitol. The march in Denver is part of a national movement deemed Restore The Fourth Amendment (RFA). In a press release by RFA it was stated, "Restore the Fourth is a grassroots, non-partisan, non-violent movement that seeks to organize and assemble nationwide protests on July 4th, 2013. Protesters in over 100 cities across America will gather to demand that the government of the United States of America adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits and respect the Fourth Amendment."
RFA stands with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and StopWatching.us. In an open letter sent to lawmakers by 86 civil liberties groups and internet companies on June 10, 2013, the following demands were made:
1. Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
2. Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
3. Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.
Although there has been concern of massive surveillance by the NSA since the USA PATRIOT Act was enacted in 2001, the recent leaks by former NSA contractor from Booz Allen Hamilton Edward Snowden has caused international uproar. Snowden called the leak an "architecture of oppression" and revealed top-secret surveillance programs that were not publicly known. According to Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan, "The first was an order from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court requesting a division of the phone giant Verizon to hand over 'all call detail records' for calls to or from the U.S. and locations abroad, or all calls within the U.S., including local calls. Another document was a slide presentation revealing a program dubbed 'PRISM,' which allegedly empowers NSA snoops access to all the private data stored by Internet giants like Microsoft, AOL, Skype, Google, Apple and Facebook, including email, video chats, photos, files transfers and more."
On July 1, 2013, from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport where Edward Snowden is currently being held until he is able to find asylum he stated:
"For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
"In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
"I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many."
To keep up with the Restore the Fourth rallies search #restorethe4th on social media.