In the wake of the Snowden revelations eight years ago, on July 4, 2013, Restore the Fourth held its first rallies. In a hundred cities across the United States, Americans came together to demand an end to mass government surveillance.
In response, the NSA declared primly to the nation, “The Fourth of July reminds us as Americans of the freedoms and rights all citizens of our country are guaranteed by our Constitution.” The revelations themselves, and a series of court decisions in the years that followed, showed that it was actually the American people—not the NSA—who had the clearer understanding of what the Fourth Amendment really means.
Since then, we have become more organized. Nationally we coordinate with like minded activist organizations, fight to sunset key NSA surveillance powers, regulate Invasive surveillance technology, fight back against misguided attempts to regulate cryptocurrency, and maintain a nonpartisan scorecard to track how well members of Congress protect your freedoms.
But the strength of our movement is in our local chapters. Here in Minnesota we have accomplished a great deal in 2021 alone. In Minneapolis we passed a ban on government use face recognition, stymied the governors attempt to to add millions of additional taxpayer dollars to the Minnesota Fusion Center’s budget, and hosted numerous events and workshops.
As of this July Fourth the surveillance state is still with us, but we are proud to have stood up when we did, we are proud of what we have accomplished, and we promise to keep fighting.