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NSA Spying Critics 'Adopt' a Highway to Launch Creative Protest

Members of Restore the 4th movement to use "adopt a highway" program to highlight Utah facility that "has eroded and invaded every part of our 4th Amendment rights"

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Opponents of the National Security Agency's spying are using a creative tactic to bring attention to the agency's dragnet surveillance and new data center in Utah.

Restore the 4th, a grassroots movement that formed in the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations, is taking part in Utah's Adopt-A-Highway program, specifically adopting "the section of highway running past the Utah Data Center, a move that would place the group’s protest-oriented name on signs outside the spy building," the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Democracy Now! describes the Bluffdale, Utah center as NSA's "massive new data-storage facility" that "covers more than one million square feet and has a capacity projected to be larger than Google’s biggest data center."

By applying for the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) program, the anti-spying group is signing up for "a two-year voluntary commitment to clean up litter on two miles of highway or state road, with a minimum of three cleanups per year."

Lorina Potter, a representative of the Utah Restore the 4th, told the Tribune that the group would be carrying picket signs while they cleaned up the 2-mile section of Redwood Road.


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“One of the major reasons we decided to do this was to bring visibility to the fact this data center has eroded and invaded every part of our 4th Amendment rights," the Associated Press reports Potter as saying. 

For UDOT's part, spokesman John Gleason told the Tribune "we’re happy there are people applying to keep litter off the roads out there."

The group's first cleanup/protest is planned for Oct. 26, KUTV reports.

Restore the 4th, a reference to the 4th Amendment, gained attention on July 4 when hundreds of protests online and on streets across the U.S. sought "to demand an end to the unconstitutional surveillance methods employed by the U.S. government and to ensure that all future government surveillance is constitutional, limited, and clearly defined."


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