Wikinews interviews a Restore the Fourth organizer

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A grassroots movement known as Restore the Fourth, dedicated to the protection of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution, are to hold protests countrywide on July 4. The planned protests come in the wake of information about NSA surveillance leaked last month, notably the PRISM surveillance program and the collection of Verizon phone records. Wikinews interviewed Jett, a national organizer from this recently created movement.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png First of all, could you explain what Restore the Fourth is all about?

Jett: At its core, RestoreTheFourth is about protecting citizens' constitutional rights. Specifically, we're dedicated to bringing awareness and action to the expanding overreach and elimination of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Logo of the PRISM surveillance program.
Image: NSA, Adam Hart-Davis.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What is your role at Restore the Fourth?

Jett: My job at RestoreTheFourth could be summarized as 'project coordinator'. Every person who wants to help can help in a tremendous way. I simply make sure that their skills get used in a way that would be most beneficial to the movement: web development, public relations, etc. I also field questions from the press and promote knowledge of our cause.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What are your plans for direct action, outreach, etc.?

Jett: Our press release includes a list of 'demands' for what we want to see in order to restore our privacy rights, including reform of the PATRIOT Act and increased accountability for public officials. In the very short term, these protests and demonstrations bring awareness to the issue, something that's really important in enacting reform. In the long term, however, we expect to create a legal organization dedicated to restoring these rights inherent to every American. By partnering with various other organizations that share our moral values, we can further these goals.
On July 4, we will have over 100 protests in all 50 states, showing that the citizens of America are truly serious about protecting their rights.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png By what means do you hope to achieve such change?

Jett: This movement started only a few weeks ago, and since then we've experienced exponential growth and progress. Since the movement is still very young, plans diverge in the long term on what we hope to achieve. Personally, I'd like to see a combination of legislative and litigative action (something like what the ACLU does), and others want to see further plans of action. With organizations such as the BORDC, stopwatching.us and the EFF behind us, I feel that we can achieve all of this and much more.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Wikinews commentary.svg
What do you think is the right balance between surveillance and privacy?

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is the movement US-only or will it extend to other jurisdictions as well? Do you think it would be fair for the US to spy on non-citizens?

Jett: I believe that rights are inherent to all humans, not only United States citizens. In the long term I'd certainly like to see people of all nations protected from the slow elimination of privacy that we're all experiencing.
Cquote1.svg He's [Edward Snowden] being treated as a 'martyr' of sorts. It seems to distract from what he truly believed in. Cquote2.svg

—Jett

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What do you think about Edward Snowden's whistleblowing?

Jett: I think that too much attention is being given to his personality instead of what he fought for. He's being treated as a 'martyr' of sorts. It seems to distract from what he truly believed in — transparency for the government and inherent privacy for all Americans.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What do you think about his future, given the legal grey zone in which he currently is?

Jett: Hard to say. He may be captured by any number of agencies, or he may live a free man. Whatever happens, he has the eyes of millions of people on him, all of whom will yell very loudly if anything occurs.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you very much for your time.

Jett: Thanks for the opportunity.

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Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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