Above: Thomas Drake, “Restore the Fourth” rally, Washington, D.C.
Americans turned out on July 4 in 100 cities to protest the massive NSA surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden and other former NSA employees. The rallies were held in conjunction with a campaign called Restore the Fourth, a reference to the Fourth Amendment and its protections against government search and seizure. “Spawned on Reddit” last month, the campaign is “supported by Mozilla, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and other US and international press freedom organizations.”
After a government contractor exposed startling details about domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency, much of the public discussion centered about the whistleblower, Edward Snowden. In response, the Project on Government Oversight issued a public statement calling upon the nation to focus great focus instead on “the important issues [Snowden] has exposed—a broken system for whistleblowers and how secrecy is undermining our constitutional democracy.” With POGO’s permission, the statement by Executive Director Danielle Brian is provided in full below.
Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, departed Hong Kong on Sunday, taking an Aeroflot flight to Moscow.
Hong Kong’s decision to allow him to leave comes a day after the US sought to turn up the pressure on the territory to hand him over, with a senior administration official telling the Washington Post: “If Hong Kong doesn’t act soon, it will complicate our bilateral relations and raise questions about Hong Kong’s commitment to the rule of law.” (Guardian)
by Julia Davis Edward Snowden set the world ablaze with revelations of overreaching surveillance, conducted by the American government against its own citizens. The excuse of “national security” often allows powers-that-be to avoid public scrutiny, effectively ending the discussion. However, in this scenario people feel personally violated and the debate is unlikely to cease anytime soon.