Resistance to NSA Surveillance: Activism, Legal, Legislative, Oversight Roundup

July 11, 2013

There’s a lot going on! Here’s a roundup of what’s happening in the US on various fronts ….


Restore the Fourth has a congressional call-in day on Friday, leveraging’s 1-323-STOP-NSA number.  Restore the Phones: Tell Congress this Isn’t Over has the details, including a link to a basic script.  Restore the Fourth is also planning another round of protests on August 4, and a campaign focused on town hall meetings during Congress’ summer recess.   There are lots of other exciting ideas bubbling up in the discussions and in local organizing meetings.  Get involved!


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Hundreds join DC rally to #RestoreThe4th on July 4th (videos, photos)

July 6, 2013

A writeup of the DC rally, with a YouTube playlist of the speakers, some rallygoer reactions, photos, and more.

Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition

McPherson Square was the setting for a very successful Independence Day rally for the 4th Amendment yesterday, with hundreds on hand to listen and cheer as speaker after speaker urged them to “Restore The Fourth!”

RestoreTheFourth/DC’s rally organizer Andrea O’Neill led off, followed by assisting coordinator Louise Brooks, who introduced the remaining speakers.

(For a complete listing and individual video links, see the end of this post.  We will be providing a complete playlist of the day’s speakers shortly; when possible, we’ll provide or link to prepared text as well.)

Amie Stepanovich — director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) Domestic Surveillance Project — led off with important news: EPIC will be filing a motion before the Supreme Court on Monday asking that court to vacate the recently revealed April 25 FISC order requiring Verizon to turn over all phone records through July 19, 2013…

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Restore the Fourth: Grassroots civil liberties activism is back and better than ever!

July 4, 2013

Restore the Fourth rally on the Federal Building, NY

It’s the Fourth of July, and we’re fighting for our civil liberties.

me, in 2008, to the Senator Obama – Please, No Telecom Immunity and Get FISA Right mailing list

Five years later, grassroots civil liberties activism on social networks is back and better then ever. Back in 2008, we were organizing online, trying to stop the disastrous FISA Amendment Act, and Barack Obama had just responded to our open letter. We lost that battle, but the fight goes on … and today it went to the next level at Restore the Fourth‘s rallies across the country:

New York

How cool is that?

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Restore the Fourth: Pics from Rallies around the Country

July 4, 2013

New York
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NMA Weighs in on #restorethe4th from Taiwan!

July 3, 2013

Next Media Animation weighs in from Taiwan.  Y’think this could go viral?

A great addition to today’s coverage.

155 views so far.  It’ll be interesting to see how big this gets …

PS: for background on Next Media Animation, see Taiwan Tabloid Sensation Next Media Re-Creates the News in Wired.

#restorethe4th coverage roundup

July 3, 2013


Thousands of Americans will fogo the traditional Fourth of July backyard barbecue or beach trip this week, instead choosing to join nationwide rallies against recently revealed National Security Agency surveillance programs.

The protests are being organized by Restore the Fourth, a 23-day-old organization that spawned on Reddit in reaction to the NSA revelations. Restore the Fourth’s long-term goal is ending what its members consider the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance regime and reinstating the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Thousands to Join ‘Restore the Fourth’ Anti-NSA Rallies, Alex Fitzpatrick, Mashable

For a lot more information about Restore the Fourth, see the organizers’ Ask Me Anything on Reddit

The July 4 rallies and Internet Defense League’s “Cat Signal” are getting some high-profile hits, with articles in Time, The Hill, techPresident (by Sarah Lai Stirland, who covered Get FISA Right five years ago!), the Washington Post, the BBC, Boston Globe, techDirt, Ars Technica, gigaOm , CSO magazine, and more.  We’ve collected some of the recent coverage using Storify.

Most of the articles talk about the rallies as well as the online activity Fight For the Future is leading.  The overall tone is quite positive, and it’s great to see so much high-profile mainstream media covering the rallies (especially since the progressive blogosphere, a huge force in 2008, has so far been fairly silent).  I particularly liked this quote from Restore the Fourth director of communications Michael Reed in Nicole Greenstein’s Time article

The surveillance opposition efforts have so far brought together an eclectic group of supporters, including two unlikely partners — an Ohio Tea Party association and Occupy Wall Street NYC. This bipartisanship is an advantage Reed thinks will make Capitol Hill lawmakers stop and listen.

Great point!

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#restorethe4th roundup: resources, media attention, and videos

July 1, 2013

RestoreThe4thAs we head into the July 4 rallies, I thought it would be useful to collect some useful links.

For organizers — or people wanting to get the word out — the best place to start is Restore the Fourth’s website at, where there’s a a FAQ, list of protests, , the June 18 press release, and a resources page (including logos, flyers, and guides for organizers on media and outreach).  There’s also a wiki page with more resources on Reddit; and of course r/RestoreTheFourth subreddit which is the best place to go for links, questions, and discussions.  Bill of Rights Defense Committee’s How to protest against NSA surveillance on Fourth of July and the reddit threads on first-time protestors and  talking points all have great tips, tricks, and general advice.

The rallies are starting to get more and more attention. For example:

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