While many people in the U.S. are planning barbecues with family and friends, an evening of fireworks, and other ways to celebrate Independence Day, thousands of others are planning to join nationwide rallies in protest against recently revealed spying activities conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). Dubbed "Restore the Fourth," the effort was put together by Reddit and has drawn support from a number of other online entities, including Mozilla.
"Reddit didn’t take well to all the information about the news leak as far as NSA goes," says Michael Reed, Restore the Fourth’s director of communications, according to Time. "So we started organizing there, and the next thing you know, we’re organizing in over 100 cities and it’s only getting bigger."
Indeed it is. Rallies will take place all over the U.S. in cities both big and small. And in addition to Mozilla, the campaign has drawn support from WordPress, 4chan, Fark, and Cheezburger.com, along with certain celebrities.
"How long do we expect rational people to accept using terrorism to justify and excuse endless executive and state power?," actor John Cusack said during a press conference announcing the protests, according to PCWorld. "Why are so many in our government, our press, our intellectual class afraid of an informed public?"
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked information about the NSA's surveillance program and the Internet companies it's been working with. He now faces a number of charges, including theft of government property.
Restore the Fourth is, in part, an effort to draw the spotlight away from Snowden and back on the issue at hand.