Protesters call for an end to NSA mass surveillance

About 5,000 people attend a rally in Washington to protest NSA programs

By , IDG News Service |  Internet

The Muslim community in the U.S. has long been the target of surveillance, she noted. "I feel like if the government doesn't respect the very basic right of privacy, then all of our other rights are going to be trampled," she said.

Paul Charnetzki IV traveled to Washington from Chicago to attend the rally. He's opposed to the increased surveillance in the U.S. since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., he said.

Asked if the rally would make a difference, Charnetzki said, "Who knows?" He talked to a staffer at his congressman's office before the rally, and the staffer questioned if he was an extremist, he said.

"It got a little tense in there," he added.

The U.S. government needs to return to the protections of the Fourth Amendment, added John Lambert, from central Virginia. The U.S. government also needs to stop its surveillance on foreign leaders, he said, noting news reports this week.

"Spying on Americans without warrants is illegal," he said. "Spying on allies is just stupid."

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.

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