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PNS Daily Newscast - September 21, 2018 


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Privacy Advocates: “Stop Watching Us”

ILLUSTRATION: Saturday is the 12th anniversary of signing the Patriot Act, and some believe the government may have gone too far in its efforts to combat terrorism by conducting surveillance in violation of the Bill of Rights, according to privacy advocates. Courtesy Free Press.
ILLUSTRATION: Saturday is the 12th anniversary of signing the Patriot Act, and some believe the government may have gone too far in its efforts to combat terrorism by conducting surveillance in violation of the Bill of Rights, according to privacy advocates. Courtesy Free Press.
October 22, 2013

WASHINGTON - Revelations by Julian Assange, Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, Edward Snowden and others have shown U.S. government agencies such as the NSA may have violated Americans' right to privacy, according to advocates who are going to march and rally in Washington this weekend to protest.

Adwoa Masozi, communications specialist at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, pointed out that, as far back as the 1920s, the government was spying on the Black nationalist movement of Marcus Garvey.

"This is nothing new; this is just something that's affecting everyone, as opposed to certain sects of the political spectrum and different cultural groups, ethnic groups in this country," Masozi asserted.

The protest action, timed to the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act, will be preceded Thursday night by a panel discussion organized by the Center for Media Justice and Free Press, called, "Enemies of the State: Government Surveillance in Communities of Color."

Seema Sadanandan, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's D.C. affiliate, predicts a large turnout for the march. She said concern over privacy is reaching a turning point.

"What makes Edward Snowden and Julian Assange and their revelations so powerful is that they have propelled our society to engage in a conversation about what privacy means in this context, and in today's age of technology," Sadanandan said.

Supporters of the Patriot Act say it has allowed investigators to foil terrorist plots. Adwoa Masozi isn't buying that.

"There's no evidence to suggest that any of us has been made any safer, that it is necessary to sacrifice our liberty for security: none of that," she stated.

The march steps off at noon Saturday from Union Station to the Capitol reflecting pool. It's sponsored by dozens of groups that say they are concerned about civil liberties being pushed aside in the drive to defend the country from domestic and international terrorists.

More information is at rally.stopwatching.us.



Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - MD