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San Diegans Call For Privacy Rights In ‘Restore The Fourth’ Rally

A group of protestors gathered in Balboa Park on Thursday morning for Restore the Fourth, a call for the government to restore privacy rights.

A group of protestors gathered in Balboa Park on Thursday morning for Restore the Fourth, a call for the government to restore privacy rights.

While most San Diegans hit the beaches or the barbeque for the Fourth of July holiday, some celebrated independence in a different way.

A group of protestors gathered in Balboa Park on Thursday morning for Restore the Fourth. The demonstration was part of a nationwide chain of events calling for the government to restore privacy rights.

Protestors broke out their signs and Guy Fawkes masks and gathered at the big fountain in Balboa Park.

"In a Free Country, You Don't Track Everybody," one sign read.

"Read My Lips, Not My Emails," another said. Two men wheeled a model of a drone through the crowd.

The protest was spurred by information leaked by Edward Snowden that revealed top-secret government mass surveillance programs, said Kevin Maule, one of the San Diego organizers.

"The government deciding things behind doors outside the public knowledge," he said. "Classified, unwarranted searches. We feel like that's unacceptable. It's against our Fourth Amendment rights, which promises privacy and security in our homes, in our papers, in our persons. Unless they have probable cause, they really can't collect data from any of us, and they have been for years. This is really the tip of the iceberg."

Protestors signed petitions and postcards asking politicians to end surveillance programs. They said they chose this day for their gathering because it reminds people both of the Fourth Amendment and of independence.

After the national anthem was sung and speeches were made, protestors marched to Senator Diane Feinstein's office. No one was there to meet them, but Maule said they still hoped their message would be heard.

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