As the second order of business, I'd like to introduce you to RestoreTheFourth, whose logo you see at the top of the diary.
1. What is RestoreTheFourth?
RestoreTheFourth is a nonpartisan grassroots coalition that seeks to restore the rights guaranteed to the American people under the Fourth Amendment. We believe that the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA, combined with modern information technology, have given the U.S. government unprecedented and unacceptable powers of search and seizure of Americans' electronic documents, and we intend to correct that overreach.
2. Are you working for (Ron Paul/Rand Paul/Glenn Greenwald/Edward Snowden/the Republican Party/the Democratic Party/the Flying Spaghetti Monster/the Catholic Church/the Cato Institute/George Soros/Al Qaeda/Alex Jones/Cthulhu)?
No. We are not an astroturf organization. We are not working for or with any elected official or candidate, unless they are participating anonymously as an ordinary citizen. We are absolutely not working for or with any political or religious organization, any foreign group, or any enemy of the United States. We have no communication with Edward Snowden or his media contacts other than through the same publicly-accessible channels as everyone else.
3. You're posting on Daily Kos. Doesn't that mean you're a Democrat?
I, personally, am a civil libertarian social democrat who would vote (D) if I were a U.S. citizen. I'm posting on Daily Kos because I'm an established user and I believe I can tap into the wealth of experienced organizers and protesters here.
RestoreTheFourth, however, is absolutely nonpartisan and focused on this single specific issue which cuts across party lines. Last night in the planning chat, I was privileged to enjoy a civil, uplifting, spirited, and respectful discussion among Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents. While we may disagree on many issues, we agree that we should be allowed to talk about them without all of our communications being collected and datamined. We believe that if we remain focused on the issues that unite us, we can remain united.
4. Where are you getting your funding?
At the moment, we have no external sources of funding. All of our work has been done entirely by volunteers. Individual members have used their own private funds to pay for some small expenses. At the moment, we have not decided how we will pay for any larger expenses, although crowdfunding has been proposed.
5. How do you feel about President Obama?
Individual opinions vary. As a group, we have no consensus opinion, nor do we intend to attempt to reach one.
6. But you're accusing him of breaking the law!
That's not a question. But no, not exactly. We acknowledge that the NSA surveillance activities that we know about were, as far as we know, conducted under color of law. We believe that the relevant law is unconstitutional; however, since FISA court rulings are secret, it has until now been impossible to even know exactly what the law is, much less prove standing to challenge it in court. We intend to rectify that situation.
7. What do you plan to do about it?
We are organizing a nationwide day of protest on July 4, 2013.
8. How can I get involved?
Check out the Action Guide below the fold.
Where do you fit in?
I want to get involved in the national campaign. Where do I start?
The hub of the RestoreTheFourth national protest campaign is the RestoreTheFourth subreddit on Reddit. You can browse all you want without logging in, but you'll need to sign up for Reddit to participate.
I'd like to help organize the national campaign. How do I connect with other organizers?
Connect in realtime to other RTF organizers through the #RestoreTheFourth IRC channel. We're currently having moderated nightly meetings at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 Pacific, but we have ongoing free discussion 24-7.
I'd like to help organize a local RTF protest. Where do I start?
The rtforganizers subreddit on Reddit has threads for hundreds of cities nationwide. Find your city using the search function, or make a thread if your city isn't already represented.
I'd like to help with web or applications development for RestoreTheFourth. How do I connect with other developers?
I'd like to help create art or media for either the national RestoreTheFourth campaign or a local protest. How do I submit my work or connect with other artists and creative people?
I'd like to help create written materials (website content, open letters, marketing materials, etc) for either the national RestoreTheFourth campaign or a local protest. How do I submit my work or connect with other writers?
Join the #r4info IRC channel to participate in the writing team. Collaborative writing/review also happens frequently in the main #RestoreTheFourth IRC channel. And you can always post your work in the RestoreTheFourth subreddit for comment by the community.
I'd like to help promote RestoreTheFourth on social media. Where do I start?
Promote the national campaign by tweeting using the restorethe4th hashtag!
Check the RestoreTheFourth website's Resources page to see if your local group has any social media presence already. If they don't have a presence on your media of choice, set up an event page and let your local group know about it by posting in your city's thread on the rtforganizers subreddit.
You can get the complete RTF logo pack for use on social media from this imgur link.
I'd like to lend my marketing or PR expertise to the RestoreTheFourth campaign. How can I connect with the marketing and PR team?
I have another skill that I'd like to contribute. How do I get involved?
At the moment, we're particularly interested in hearing from lawyers and legal organizations, but all skill sets are welcome.
I'm not interested in organizing; I just want to come out on July 4th and protest. How can I find a protest in my area?
I want to fight the surveillance program, but I don't want to be involved with RestoreTheFourth. What are some other options?
The ACLU is filing a lawsuit challenging the NSA's phone surveillance program. They believe that the leaked FISA opinion is enough evidence to establish standing. You can help by signing the petition, or by donating to the ACLU.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation is organizing an email campaign to pressure Congress to investigate the surveillance programs and rein in the NSA's powers. You can help by joining in the email campaign or donating to the EFF.
Sen. Jeff Merkley has introduced a bill that would declassify FISC (the secret court authorized under FISA) opinions so that Americans can know what the law allows the government to do. Joan McCarter explains here why the bill is so important. You can help by contacting your senators and congressmen and asking them to support Merkley's legislation and declassify the law.
If anyone else has any other suggestions, please post them in the comments and I'll add them to the diary. Thanks for reading - help us take action!