Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Who Blew the Whistle?

At 11:30 am local time in Washington DC on October 26, 2013, the rally against mass surveillance began. At this time, over thousands of people marched the streets of the National Mall, protesting against the NSA's national surveillance programs. The NSA's Domestic Spying Program was first put into effect by President George W. Bush, weeks after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. There are several aspects of these programs, however the basic idea is that with the help of prime telecommunications carriers such as AT&T, the government has become involved in a massive illegal surveillance of the communication between millions of American citizens daily. This has been in action since 2001, as millions of domestic communication records (calls, emails, texts, etc.) have been intercepted and documented to then be analyzed by the US government. The database will be fully operational by September of 2013, when a massive data center is constructed in Utah, to store all of the records it has been collecting since the past decade. "Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases," Bamford wrote, "will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital 'pocket litter.'"  James Bamford national security author). Numerous Americans would not and will not stand for this.
The Stop Watching Us organization is made up of over 100 public advocacy groups, who started the "rally against mass surveillance". All of these groups came together to protest against the NSA's national surveillance programs, and to demand a complete investigation of these spying activities. About 575,000 signatures were collected on a petition, and sent to Representative Justin Amash. Along with the full investigation of the NSA's programs, the letter asked Congress members to repeal Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The letter also asked for whichever officials were responsible for this "unconstitutional surveillance", to face consequences for their actions.
Video made by the Stop Watching Us organization: http://occupywallst.org/article/stop-watching-us-now/
Quote from the petition: “First, we are asking for a congressional investigation so we can shed light on exactly what the National Security Agency is doing. Secondly, we ask for reform of federal surveillance law, specifically Section 215 of the Patriot Act, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the state secrets privilege."


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