Coinciding with upcoming July 4 celebrations, a new group calling themselves Restore the Fourth is planning over 100 peaceful protests next week to "demand the government of the United States of America adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits and respect the Fourth Amendment."
They are calling for revisions to the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act, as well as accountability from elected officials and increased public oversight over surveillance programs.
“These are going to be all peaceful protests,” assures organizer Ben Dorenberg. “It’s going to be a wide range of people … a really wide cross-section of ages and political beliefs, and I think, as you read the fourth amendment this is a constitutional right and people of all persuasions agree that these rights need to be protected.”
The article to which he refers has been cited frequently in the fallout of the leaked documents by former security contractor Edward Snowden, that revealed a number of top-secret national security endeavors:
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 affirmations, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Dorenberg says the PRISM documents violate this clause, though he says this isn’t the first leak to anger civil liberty watchdogs. “This is part of a growing trend in the United States,” he says, “that civil liberties are not being respected. Whether it’s policies like ‘stop-and-frisk’ in New York City, or these broad surveillance programs.” He says that even though many polls show that public opinion on government surveillance is mixed, “the people who care, care a lot.”