Amid yet another round of explosive revelations about the activities of the National Security Agency and ahead of a large rally organized by a large coalition of social justice and privacy advocates planned for Saturday, whistleblower Edward Snowden urged his fellow U.S. citizens to speak out against NSA surveillance by telling Congress and the Obama administration: 'Stop Watching Us.'
In a rare public statement, released through the ACLU, Snowden said:
In the last four months, we've learned a lot about our government.
We've learned that the U.S. intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance. Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong.
Now it's time for the government to learn from us. On Saturday, the ACLU, EFF, and the rest of the StopWatching.Us coalition are going to D.C. Join us in sending the message: Stop Watching Us.
A large rally is planned for Washington, DC on Saturday with satellite events taking place in cities across the country.
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The protests, which coincide with the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act into law, are designed to bring together diverse groups from across the political spectrum to demand surveillance law reform.
"The NSA is spying on everyone's personal communications," says the coalition, and argues the massive agency is "operating without any meaningful oversight" from Congress, the courts, or the public at large.
The groups—which include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ACLU, Public Citizen, Restore the Fourth, Free Press, Demand Progress and nearly a hundred others—released this video to promote the event:
And updates and information on the day of action against NSA spying were being listed under #StopWatchingUs on Twitter: