Welcome! If you're reading, I'm going to assume that you're already aware of the recent NSA domestic surveillance revelations. But for those who need a motivation boost, I'd like to point you to Thomas Drake's excellent post
from this morning.
As the second order of business, I'd like to introduce you to RestoreTheFourth, whose logo you see at the top of the diary.
1. What is RestoreTheFourth?
RestoreTheFourth is a nonpartisan grassroots coalition that seeks to restore the rights guaranteed to the American people under the Fourth Amendment. We believe that the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA, combined with modern information technology, have given the U.S. government unprecedented and unacceptable powers of search and seizure of Americans' electronic documents, and we intend to correct that overreach.
2. Are you working for (Ron Paul/Rand Paul/Glenn Greenwald/Edward Snowden/the Republican Party/the Democratic Party/the Flying Spaghetti Monster/the Catholic Church/the Cato Institute/George Soros/Al Qaeda/Alex Jones/Cthulhu)?
No. We are not an astroturf organization. We are not working for or with any elected official or candidate, unless they are participating anonymously as an ordinary citizen. We are absolutely not working for or with any political or religious organization, any foreign group, or any enemy of the United States. We have no communication with Edward Snowden or his media contacts other than through the same publicly-accessible channels as everyone else.
3. You're posting on Daily Kos. Doesn't that mean you're a Democrat?
I, personally, am a civil libertarian social democrat who would vote (D) if I were a U.S. citizen. I'm posting on Daily Kos because I'm an established user and I believe I can tap into the wealth of experienced organizers and protesters here.
RestoreTheFourth, however, is absolutely nonpartisan and focused on this single specific issue which cuts across party lines. Last night in the planning chat, I was privileged to enjoy a civil, uplifting, spirited, and respectful discussion among Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents. While we may disagree on many issues, we agree that we should be allowed to talk about them without all of our communications being collected and datamined. We believe that if we remain focused on the issues that unite us, we can remain united.
4. Where are you getting your funding?
At the moment, we have no external sources of funding. All of our work has been done entirely by volunteers. Individual members have used their own private funds to pay for some small expenses. At the moment, we have not decided how we will pay for any larger expenses, although crowdfunding has been proposed.
5. How do you feel about President Obama?
Individual opinions vary. As a group, we have no consensus opinion, nor do we intend to attempt to reach one.
6. But you're accusing him of breaking the law!
That's not a question. But no, not exactly. We acknowledge that the NSA surveillance activities that we know about were, as far as we know, conducted under color of law. We believe that the relevant law is unconstitutional; however, since FISA court rulings are secret, it has until now been impossible to even know exactly what the law is, much less prove standing to challenge it in court. We intend to rectify that situation.
7. What do you plan to do about it?
We are organizing a nationwide day of protest on July 4, 2013.
8. How can I get involved?
Check out the Action Guide below the fold.