On July 4th, Tell The Government To Restore The 4th Amendment

from the restore-the-4th dept

Given all of the revelations about government surveillance over the past few weeks, there’s been a rapid grassroots effort to “Restore the Fourth” — telling the federal government to “restore the 4th Amendment” on July 4th, Independence Day here in the US. There are going to be protests and gatherings around the country, so see if you can find the one closest to you and stop by. Also, if you have not already done so, please sign on to the Stop Watching Us petition, which has over 500,000 signatures already, and that number keeps going up and up. If you’re interested, the EFF also has some additional info about various things that you can do.

On the Fourth of July, we’re supposed to remember the freedoms we’ve always believed this country stood for. We normally do this by doing things like watching fireworks. Perhaps this July 4th, it would be wise to think about all that the government has been doing to stamp out the 4th Amendment with things like secret courts, secret interpretations of the law, and vast dragnets of information gathering on the public by a duplicitous federal government, who still refuses to give a straight story on what it’s doing, and under what legal authority. It’s time that stopped, and the only way that’s going to happen is if people speak up and let the government know that they believe in the 4th Amendment, and what’s being done by the NSA, the DOJ, the FBI and the intelligence-industrial complex has gone way beyond what is acceptable, and the American people demand that it comes to an immediate end.

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Comments on “On July 4th, Tell The Government To Restore The 4th Amendment”

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47 Comments
James Clapper says:

Good, good

Thank goodness! We’ve been just completely swamped over at the NSA HQ with the utterly nutso amount of data that we’ve collected – having a nice list of people who oppose such things aggregated from social media and the petition above will give us a MUCH better idea of who to target.

Thanks and least-unworst regards,
James Clapper

CK20XX (profile) says:

Re: Good, good

(I know this is satire, but it feels worth responding to anyway.)

You know, internet file sharers experience a certain phenomenon when they download a complete pack of ROMS for the NES, Genesis, or any other big system. Suddenly they have thousands of games, more than they even know what to do with, so they usually end up not touching most of them. A complete game collection like that is only a shiny trophy for people with hoarding disorders. It doesn’t provide much actual value to them since they’ll only play a few games out of the whole pack anyway.

I think that long list of people you’re preparing will be as useful to you as a pack of ROMS. Have fun trying to target millions of people at once!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Good, good

Indeed – playing NES/SNES ROMs on a hacked XBOX is far more convenient than busting out the multiple boxes of game systems I have collected over the years.

I still pick up game cartridges at yard sales for a buck or two when I see them, since they’re more valuable than that on ebay already. Someday I’ll have an awesome collection that my kids can play with and eventually sell as a lot.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Good, good

I’ve experienced this with Steam Sale and Humble Bundles.
I want to support the indie devs so I generally support all the Humble Bundles (paying more than average at the time) and get all these games. I think I’ve only played like 3 of them.
With the Steam sales I grab anything I think looks like it might be fun and affordable. Again, I end up with a mess of games I’ve never played or only played about an hour of.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Good, good

I do similar with the humble bundles – except I take it a step further…

I load them all on my kids’ computers so they can play them on my behalf, because I know I won’t have time. I’ve noted that my kids have played quite a few of them, and this makes me feel like it was money well spent.

I also occasionally will share a torrent link to a humble bundle game (they openly distribute them via torrent as well) with a friend or two so they can try out a game. Most of those same friends have now become humble bundle purchases themselves.

Whenever I end up with multiple steam keys for the same games (common now with people who buy lots of humble bundles), I give them away to coworkers or friends so they can “own” them on Steam as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Egypt Protest Slogans

“Wake up America – Obama Backs up a Fascist Regime in Egypt”

“Obama Supports Terrorisim”

“Obama and Paterson Support Terrorism in Egypt”

“From Tahrir Square to the U.S. Media & Muslim Brotherhood
-Obama you jerk. Muslim Brotherhoods are killing the Egyptians so how come they can guarantee you the security of Israel.
-Hey Obama, your deal with the Muslim Brotherhood is unsuccessful.
-Obama you idiot, keep in mind that Egypt is not Muslim brotherhoods and if you don’t believe that, go to see what’s happening in Tahrir Square >.”

rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I had conflicting thoughts when I read that. But then I thought that it would be fitting if you saved that action for a protest venue. Then I thought what would be even more fitting is if you wore a uniform. To me that would be an excellent illustration of the very real conflict we now face and that the actions of the government are on a course that will destroy the bastion of freedom they claim to serve.

And we will burn.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

I don’t know whether or not you’re a US citizen but I’ll just assume you are. Burning the US flag would be a gesture against the country as a whole, not the few who are ruining it for the rest of us. There are plenty of us who are opposed to what the government has been doing, as I’m sure you already know, so I feel that it’s the wrong thing to do.

United we stand, divided we fall.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Are you referring to the “safety and happiness” line?

Neither of those are referred to as inalienable rights, as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” are.

But among the inalienable rights, the issue is to what extent we’re willing to sacrifice Liberty in exchange for Life. Personally, this I think this is a false choice in the first place, but that’s how the debate is being framed.

Anonymous Coward says:

One day isn't going to be enough

To truly get the message across, it must be an ongoing protest. To protest for one day and go home gives us a negative image. It will give politicians the A-OK to sneak in laws or mechanisms that are just as bad, if not worse when we’re not looking (like CISPA, months after the SOPA blackout).

It will also tell the citizens of other countries that we’re too lazy to go on longer than a day. Occupy was an exception, and even that fizzled out of the public eye; it didn’t have much a clear message (some say “anti-cronyism,” others say “anti-capitalism,” and a few even say “check your privilege”) and brought no clear change for the better (unless you come from a Bizarro world where sweeping anti-protest laws and extrajudicial detainment are good ideas).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: One day isn't going to be enough

Occupy ended up “not having a message” when the media started drilling it into your head that they didn’t have a message.

Their message was clear all along, get the corporations out of government. All the social justice movements and socialists who tried to piggyback off the movement were mere sideshows to the main message at hand.

The truth is: protests are always going to have a negative light in our political climate. It’s either going to be slandered into the dirt, portrayed as a collection of communists and marxists, or spun to be an extremist movement that could turn violent at any minute. You can’t have a “regular” protest because the police and government have become too good at infiltrating and distorting protest movements.

I am of the opinion that Occupy was the last large protest movement America is going to have for the next decade.

Anonymous Coward says:

I agree that one day won’t be enough. Everything coming out of Washington and most of the MSM is basically attempts to weather it out and support the programs in charge.

Reddit also has this about the protests, the EFF, and a petition.

Security and this government have spent one shit ton of money to be able to spy on everyone and to pay third party contractors such as HB Gary. No one is going to willingly let that go unless forced to. That means day after day till it sinks home.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

that is what you are celebrating, your freedom to buy and sell things to other countries, or from other countries, would you be more free if you were only allowed to use Fireworks ONLY from America, or flags made only in America ?

You are celebrating your freedom to get your fireworks and flags from wherever you damn well like. Even America if you want too (no one ever wants too thought).

Sometimes I think Americans do not even KNOW what their freedoms are that they are so passionate about.

What do you think happens to protesters in China for example, or how do you think the Chinese Government would respond to a petition ? See many protests in Russia ? or North Korea ?

So go ahead use your Constitutional freedoms to protest your loss of freedoms of the Constitutional.

Use your free speech rights to speak up again your loss of free speech rights.

So use your Constitutional rights to show the Government how you have lost your constitutional rights. It’s the only way you can show the Government how you have lost those rights is to exercise them.

Except for the one big flaw in your idea, by using your rights you display the fact that YOU STILL HAVE THEM.

Quite a dichotomy!

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

God gives us free will to choose between right and wrong, but that freedom does not come without strings attached: we are responsible for our actions.

Just so, those responsible for upholding our rights have made it their mission to infringe upon them, using whatever justification they can dream up, to impose their will upon the population. The Constitution and Bill of Rights make it very clear that government is not allowed to violate those rights. Due to our complacent attitude, we now have a tyranny of elitists and activists running roughshod in Washington.

Perhaps this corrupt government is punishment by God for losing our moral compass. After all, if the people are predominantly corrupt, greedy and immoral, so too will be those that govern us — a reflection of who we are as a society.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Except for the one big flaw in your idea, by using your rights you display the fact that YOU STILL HAVE THEM.

..and using them is the only way to keep them.

It’s hard to argue that our rights have been increasingly infringed on by government and corporations, and that this trend will continue unless it is resisted.

Yes, some people engage in hyperbolic rhetoric (“the bill of rights has been shredded!”), but nonetheless, such rhetoric is pointing in the direction of truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

I bet you still take the holiday

You will use that time to complain and protest, at the same time taking the holiday, and have your turkey and have some beers.

If you were serious, and believed you are actually “repressed” by your Government, you would refuse to accept the holiday AND WORK, but you will instead use your grated freedoms to protest those freedoms on the day you celebrate those freedoms.

You will use your Constitutional rights to protest and petition, ON the DAY you celebrate those rights, you choose to exercise those rights, and what is your message..

“we don’t have these rights anymore”, It kind of ends up being a hollow argument when you do it that way.

I guess you could simple throw out the Constitution all together, then you could be subject to the politics of countries like China, Russia, or North Korea, how do you think you would go with a petition to Putin ? or a protest in China ? They would probably run you over with a tank, then you would simply disappear. Or in Russia, if you are a reporter, (or opposing politician) you might ‘accidently’ get killed, or ‘accidently’ eat some Polodium.

If you think your phones and internet are monitored in the US, GO THE CHINA !!!!

No the US is really hard done by, but you use your Constitutional rights to protest those rights, on the day you celebrate those rights, and see if you can do it without looking hypocritical.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: I bet you still take the holiday

Using one inalienable right to protest the violation of a different right is not the same as using a right that was taken away to protest said lost right.

The Freedom of Speech is separate, but related, to the right not to have the government invading your privacy for no adequate reason.

Also, most Americans don’t get a say in if they’re off for the holiday or not. The vast majority of businesses in the US aren’t even open on the 4th of July (those that are tend to contribute to travel, eating or safety).

The Real Michael says:

Re: I bet you still take the holiday

“I guess you could simple throw out the Constitution all together, then you could be subject to the politics of countries like China, Russia, or North Korea, how do you think you would go with a petition to Putin ? or a protest in China ? They would probably run you over with a tank, then you would simply disappear. Or in Russia, if you are a reporter, (or opposing politician) you might ‘accidently’ get killed, or ‘accidently’ eat some Polodium.”

If you protest here in the US, you can be indefinitely detained without probable cause, i.e. your rights are revoked. As Mike mentioned, we live in an age of secret courts, secret laws and highly invasive spying. We’re on the fast track to becoming everything stood against in the past century: a totalitarian regime.

Telling people who disagree with you to move to another country is insulting and does nothing to remedy the situation, a situation us Americans shouldn’t have to tolerate in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I bet you still take the holiday

Saying that a right has been violated isn’t the same thing as saying the right doesn’t exist anymore. In fact quite the opposite, rights you don’t have anymore can’t be violated. Furthermore saying a right has been violated isn’t the same thing as saying it’s always violated.

So, any other shitty logic you want to throw around or were you done?

Anonymous Coward says:

it’s not just getting the government to start restoring the 4th, it’s getting courts to re-recognise it as well. for far too long, courts have been able to reinterpret almost all the Constitution in ways other than it was meant, mainly so as to be able to compensate industries that fail to adapt to today’s technical world and keep making enormous profits off of ages old methods by suing people for small ‘violations’ of what the people always have done and always will do, share things!

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