July 4th NSA Protest: Restore the Fourth Backs Privacy Rights

Image: July 4th NSA Protest: Restore the Fourth Backs Privacy Rights

Friday, 05 Jul 2013 08:43 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Groups fed up with the U.S. government surveillance program that NSA leaker Edward Snowden exposed last month gathered throughout the country on July 4th in protests to "Restore the Fourth" and protect the amendment that guards Americans' privacy.

Led by two organizations — Fight for the Future and Restore the Fourth — the protests attracted some 10,000 demonstrators nationwide scattered across cities including New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now.

"I find the violation of our rights by our government and the violation of our privacy to be disgusting and I'm trying to take every single step I can to combat it," Ryan Brown, who helped organize Thursday's protest in San Francisco, told NBC News.

Organizers utilized social media sites like Reddit, 4chan, and Twitter to help spread the word about the protests.

"The tech community is really rallying behind this and really recognizing that if their users are suspicious of using their services because they think the government could be watching them, that’s a huge hit to their business model," Evan Greer, who led the Fight for the Future protest, told NBC News.

Even the National Security Agency — the body responsible for the alleged spying — spoke out on July 4th about American citizens' freedoms and constitutional rights.

"The Fourth of July reminds us as Americans of the freedoms and rights all citizens of our country are guaranteed by our Constitution. Among those is freedom of speech, often exercised in protests of various kinds," read a statement posted on its website. "NSA does not object to any lawful, peaceful protest."

Urgent: What Should Happen to Edward Snowden? Vote Here Now.

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Edward Snowden Exposed NSA's PRISM to Protect 'Basic Liberties' (Video)

Snowden Breaks Silence to Threaten New Leaks; Drops Russia Asylum Request

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