Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Rally to Restore Your Rights on July 4th

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.
                                                                  - Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution
Restore the Fourth is a non-partisan, non-violent movement assembling nationwide protests on July 4th 2013 to raise awareness of unconstitutional surveillance methods employed by the U.S. government. We are humbled that this truly grassroots movement was started here on reddit only 23 days ago. reddit and the rest of the individuals, businesses, and organizations in Stop Watching Us coalition demand transparency and meaningful reform to domestic surveillance programs.

On July 4th, join the thousands of people in over 50 cities across the United States who will protest the surveillance methods employed by the U.S. government.

You can learn more and sign up for your local protest at www.restorethefourth.net.

There are also protests going on in Canada and the UK.

If you are concerned about these issues, but unable or not interested in attending a rally (it'll be fun), there are many other ways for you to get involved:

From the StopWatchingUs 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." 
In addition to all of the individual privacy issues, these secret mass surveillance programs are troubling for online businesses like reddit. The potential that a business can be legally and secretly compelled to violate the privacy of both foriegn and domestic users casts a pall over any U.S.-based site. In turn, this threatens to place U.S.-based internet companies, one of the most dynamic and booming sectors of our economy, at a global disadvantage. Users of any U.S.-based site should expect and demand that their private information is steadfastly protected from government intrusion, as promised by the 4th amendment.

The 4th amendment in spirit was designed explicitly to prevent these types of programs. Secret laws and secret interpretations of laws, like FAA (2008) Section 702 or USA Patriot Act 215 aren't what democracy is about.

This 4th of July - restore your rights.
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