Americans are planning to hold nationwide demonstrations in more than one hundred cities to protest against the government’s surveillance programs recently leaked by a former contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA).
A group named “Restore the Fourth” is organizing the protest and has called on all U.S. citizens to take to the streets on July 4 to express opposition to the government’s "unconstitutional surveillance," and demand an end to all spying programs that violate the Fourth Amendment, The Huffington Post reported.
Ben Doernberg a co-organizer of the protest action in New York City told The Huffpost Live that their group was in motion even before the leaks by Edward Snowden, but added that there are more worries now over the growing trend of violating civil liberties.
Doernberg said Stop Watching Us coalition, comprised of many advocacy groups with hundreds of thousands of supporters, would joint their action.
In a letter to the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, a group of 26 senators demanded more transparency on the scope of the government’s surveillance programs. They accused the Obama administration of using a “secret body of law” to justify the activities.
Snowden recently revealed that the NSA collects massive amounts of data on millions of American citizens and foreign nationals through phones and the Internet. He is on the run and is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a federal lawsuit charging that the NSA’s bulk collection of American’s data violates their constitutional rights of free speech and privacy.
In the latest revelation about the U.S. surveillance programs, German magazine Der Spiegel said its journalists had seen a September 2010 top secret NSA document Snowden has taken with him, showing that the U.S bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks.
The White House has defended the NSA’s surveillance programs, saying the data they collect are helpful in averting terrorist activities.