Garrison S. Murphy ‘15
Anonymity has always been a common practice on the Internet.
Or so we think.
Whether you are a “conspiracy theorist” or not, lately many allegations have surfaced that may challenge the trust you hold in the Government.
After coming out to the public with information regarding the alleged warrantless wiretapping of U.S citizens, Edward Snowden became a household name.
He became a fugitive, and was labeled a traitor by many for leaking classified information regarding intelligence agencies.
The vast majority of the classified documents that Snowden leaked went into great detail as to how exactly certain sectors of the U.S government obtain much of its data.
It was also revealed that many of these alleged methods for acquiring data carried out by agencies such as the National Security Agency were classified as unconstitutional wiretapping.
This occurred mainly with cell phones, land lines and computers of U.S citizens. Unfortunately the alleged spying wasn’t limited to just U.S citizens either.
Information contained in many of the recent leaks has outraged people not only in the U.S, but across the world.
Protests were held in places as far away as Germany and Hong Kong, and as close to home as Phoenix.
Arizona’s own rally was July 4this year.
Many activists gathered at Tempe Beach Park in order to protest the Government’s alleged violation of our fourth amendment as a part of the “Restore the Fourth” movement.
Similar in nature to the “Occupy” movement of early 2012, “Restore he Fourth” is a national organization that orchestrates rallies in major cities across the country.
Their aim: to show the government that what they are allegedly doing is wrong, and a lot of U.S citizens are not OK with it.
“We feel that it (the fourth amendment) has been violated by the U.S government mostly because of its overreach of the NSA program,” said Jason McElyea a local Restore the Fourth event organizer and activist. “They’re wiretapping and gathering surveillance information on most of our phone calls …we’re being investigated as though we were criminals.”
Ironically, the entire movement was organized online through social media sites on the internet
McElyea added that popular social media site “Reddit” was where Restore the Fourth took its first steps away from infancy.
“As far as I know, it was completely started on Reddit, a group of people were talking about the movement (on reddit) and created a chat room on IRC … It’s now a national organization complete with 501(C)(4) status,” McElyea said.
Although constitutionally wrong, this may be a bit of insight as to why organizations like the N.S.A might want to keep an eye on the internet. Not in spite of groups like Restore the Fourth, but because of the power that the internet can possess when used in a certain way.
As a school with such an extensive technology program, many students here at Brophy feel as though their rights are being violated as well.
“I feel very uncomfortable (about the alleged wiretapping). I like having my privacy–being able to do what I want … without some Big Brother watching me,” said Gus Laurin ’15. “We trust these people with our lives, with everything, and they’re kind of screwing us over.”
No matter the motives for the alleged wiretapping, I believe that it is a direct infringement of the fourth amendment.
The most apparent thing in light of the recent scandal may be that many Americans agree with me.