Hundreds of people rally in the US capital to denounce the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance programs as furor grows at home and abroad over the US government’s spying activities.
Protesters marched in Washington DC from Union Station to Capitol Hill on Saturday, the anniversary of the Patriot Act, holding signs that said, “Stop mass surveillance,” “Thank you, Edward Snowden” and “No NSA mass spying.”
The march was organized by Stop Watching Us, a coalition of over 100 public advocacy organizations that includes civil liberties advocacy organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Council on American-Islamic Relations and more grassroots groups like Occupy Wall Street-NYC.
“Right now the NSA is spying on everyone’s personal communications, and it’s operating without any meaningful oversight,” states a memo on the website of Stop Watching Us.
The protesters are aiming to deliver over half a million petitions to Congress, calling for an end to mass surveillance by the NSA.
Since early June, documents disclosed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have blown the lid on a number of US spying programs including one for collecting Americans’ phone records and another, codenamed PRISM, for tracking the use of US-based Internet servers by all people around the world.
Moreover, the Guardian reported on Thursday that the NSA has monitored the telephone conversations of 35 world leaders, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Both of those leaders have condemned the widespread spying by the NSA and are spearheading a UN General Assembly resolution that would demand an end to the US government’s spying and invasion of privacy worldwide.
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