Anti-NSA rally targets Washington
October 26th, 2013
05:53 PM ET
9 years ago

Anti-NSA rally targets Washington

(CNN) – Hundreds rallied in front of the Capitol on Saturday in protest of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs and demanded a congressional investigation and reform of the laws governing the agency.

“This isn't a partisan issue. This is for Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, conservatives and liberals, everyone in between,” said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, who proposed an amendment to rein in the NSA surveillance programs but was defeated in July by a thin, seven-vote margin.

Amash touted the bipartisan U.S.A. Freedom Act, aimed at limiting the mass collection of data by NSA and authored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, one of the original authors of the Patriot Act. The bill could be brought to the House floor as early as this week.

“We’re going to keep fighting and we’re going to pass something to rein in the NSA,” he said, adding that the “NSA is fighting back, the establishment is fighting back.”

A statement, provided to the American Civil Liberties Union, from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was read at the rally.

Snowden said in part: “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.”

The rally comes as the Foreign Ministry says German intelligence officials will visit Washington “very soon” following allegations the NSA monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone. President Barack Obama ordered a review of surveillance programs Friday after new revelations of U.S. spying on global leaders.

Thousands of documents leaked by Snowden have portrayed the vast reach of U.S. surveillance activities, tracking not only on U.S. call data but also global Internet and e-mail traffic.

The ACLU billed Saturday’s rally the “biggest protest yet against NSA spying.” Other former politicians rallying anti-NSA protesters were former Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Filed under: NSA • Washington
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. CAWinMD

    "The ACLU billed Saturday’s rally the “biggest protest yet against NSA spying.”

    And there were hundreds there. What does that say?

    October 26, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Golly G. Whillakers

    Too late.
    Cancer established.
    Time for action was 2001.

    October 26, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    I remember right wingnuts telling me when Bush was spying on us, I have nothing to hide. Now look at the wingnuts.

    October 26, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    I don't know who's worse the teaklans or the people who think our national security should be non.

    October 26, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Evergreen

    Sensenbrenner, one of the authors of the Patroit Act, says he will keep fighting to rein it in. So, he was for it, before he was against it. That being said, I was against the Patroit Act when it was being debated during W's Admin. At that time I, and many others were accused of being unpatroitic and giving aid and comfort to the enemy. I am glad this is issue is being revisited.

    October 26, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Name

    What's wrong with this country? We already have a tea party problem now is nsa but any thing happened right now they will be the same people saying what the government was doing, if you don't have anything to hid then don't worry about nsa

    October 26, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    Get rid of this discus. It takes long time.

    October 26, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  8. jaysy

    Sorry but bypassing 20 million people and not telling them about it is called conspiracy and has red flag written all over it. Conspiracy against the people conspiracy against the government. And its gotta be due to a cult worshipping the end days right in the mists and do go after people!!!!

    October 27, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  9. jaysy

    Sorry but people dont sit back and reek the benefits of a cult

    October 27, 2013 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  10. Tampa Tim

    I was spying on Canadian media and found out that the Kochs bought 2 million acres near the oil sands in Canada, and if the Koch puppet republicans get the Keystone, Charles and David will make $100 billion.

    October 27, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Cruz lee , Rubio and king from Iowa, the 24 billion dollar GOP teaparty LOSERS!!!!!!

    October 27, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. Hooper

    We The People? Seems the nation turned into a prison from within, and without during the Bush years. Nothing's changed since and it's more than likely going to get worse as time goes by. Much of the reason for this stems from the stupidity within the country, and the utter willingness to give up freedoms for the sake of a false sense of well being. But the biggest reason for this slide has been the lack of attention paid to whats going on around us, while politicians do their best to enhance their lot in life. It's okay though, now you can go back to Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

    October 27, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The 24 billion dallars the GOP teaparty Cruz , lee Rubio and king of Iowa LOST in 2 weeks is probably enough to fund one of our federal goverment departments for one year!!!

    October 27, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. Catmandew

    Why does the House even bother the senate won't vote on it. How many repeals of the ACA did they pass the senate never voted on any of them! The democrats are obstructing anything they don't want. Without the NSA how will the Dems know who to sick the IRS on?

    October 27, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. rs

    Ahhh, yes. The USA PATRIOT Act comes home to roost. This was the prediction and among the known pitfalls of such oversight-less spying and intelligence gathering laws that we were warned about since the mid-2000s. So, what is Congress doing? looking into ill-designed web sites. Perhaps they should be spending their energies examining the uses of the USA PATRIOT Act.

    October 27, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. Peace

    Did these people who came to the rally don't know how to utilise their weekend? What about staying at home and relax? NSA has to spy on every creature who uses any phone regardless of who they are. Anyone who doesn't like it, then don't use your phone. After all, NSA doesn't need to ask permission to do their job efficiently. It is the job like any other job people do. Thats why they are there for.

    October 27, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Tony in Maine

    While I'm bothered by NSA's rather random approach, I wonder what will happen when they miss the next 9/11 style attack. Will the herd suddeenly turn on NSA for not knowing.

    From the beginning I've been bothered by Snowden's ego. When I was in the military I took the same oath he did because I handled codes and code machines. I cannot conceive of any reason I would have violated my word. Snowden obviously used righteous indignation as a way to get some attention.

    October 27, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. California

    If you were against the Patriot Act you should be against the NSA on this unless of course you're a hypocrite or just a partisan hack.

    October 27, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. w l jones

    NSA during what everybody do so what a big deal. Enough said.

    October 27, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Ron L

    NONE of this surprises me. When the government, any government sets up a process that is SUPER SECRET, and all they have to say "we can't divulge this information because of national security issues" and whatever the inquiry is, it is dropped!! WHAT DID YOU EXPECT!! The power of this organization is fed by Americas fear of potential terrorist attacks. It performs well but it has gotten to large to control.

    October 27, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. len

    Thanks to the Patriot Act established during the Bush Administration. Spying occurs in every country . This has been going on for generations, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, BUSH 2, ... Do you want to be safe? If you have nothing to hide who really cares....

    October 27, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Fair is fair

    So we're safe now? Go to downtown Baltimore ! Feel safe?

    October 27, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |