Organizers hope for big crowd at surveillance protest

About 4,500 people have said they will attend the Saturday event in Washington, DC

About 4,500 people have indicated they plan to attend a rally Saturday in Washington, D.C., to protest surveillance programs run by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Organizers with StopWatching.us are hoping for a large crowd to protest the NSA's mass surveillance programs detailed in leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden this year. Organizers are "seeing things pick up speed quite quickly over the last couple of days, so that number should be quite a bit higher by the day of the rally," digital activist Sina Khanifar said by email earlier this week. "It's very likely to be the largest privacy rally in American history."

The rally, beginning at noon, will feature a number of speakers, including representatives of several digital rights groups. Among them are U.S. Representative Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican; former Representative Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat; security researcher Bruce Schneier; NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake; and author and social critic Naomi Wolf.

Snowden's leak suggested the NSA is collecting telephone records in bulk inside the U.S. and is also targeting the Internet communications of many people living overseas. The NSA has, in some cases, circumvented encryption efforts, and has targeted some foreign heads of state for surveillance, according to reports.

The NSA and members of President Barack Obama's administration have defended the data collection and surveillance programs as necessary to protect the U.S. against terrorism. While the NSA collects phone records in bulk, the agency only obtains content for phone calls when it suspects criminal activity, Obama administration officials have said.

On Friday, before the rally, attendees from more than 100 congressional districts plan to visit their lawmakers' offices and ask them to stop NSA surveillance programs, organizers said.

Also this week, StopWatching.us coalition launched a new video featuring actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and John Cusack; director Oliver Stone; Representative John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat; and others.

Members of the StopWatching.us coalition include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press, Mozilla, Demand Progress, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentprivacyinternettelecommunicationBarack Obamamozillabruce schneierfree pressCenter for Democracy and TechnologyElectronic Frontier FoundationU.S. National Security AgencyJohn ConyersDemand ProgressSina KhanifarEdward SnowdenThomas DrakeJohn CusackJustin AmashMaggie GyllenhaalCouncil on American-Islamic RelationsStopWatching.usDennis KucinichNaomi WolfOliver Stone

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?