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Restoring the Fourth Amendment
• Nationwide network of volunteers hopes to roll back U.S.’s surveillance state
While the National Security Agency (NSA) seems to be daily fodder for the mainstream media these days, American Free Press, America’s Last Real Newspaper, was apprising its readers of the coming storm years ago. In fact, as the 12th anniversary of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 was just “celebrated” on October 26, it has never been more vital to put AFP at the top of your reading list.
In AFP’s Issue 16 of 2012, Ralph Forbes of AFP’s Southern Bureau, penned an article entitled “CIA Super Spy Centers Near Completion,” where he revealed the construction of “a $2 billion heavily fortified center, more than five times larger than the U.S. Capitol, near remote Bluffdale, Utah.” The NSA spy center “requires its own 65-megawatt electrical power substation—the electric bill costs at least $40 million a year—and 60,000 tons of cooling equipment to keep its computer servers from overheating.”
The cooling system doesn’t seem to be doing the job, however. According to the Utah resident interviewed below, “they have had a lot of electrical trouble from what I understand, to the point that they’re creating essentially lighting boxes and melting the computer systems, destroying millions of dollars in computers and equipment.”
Ralph’s article explains exactly what the NSA is up to:
“NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the U.S. and its citizens. . . . It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. . . . And, of course, it’s all being done in secret.”
While the vast majority of Americans have been relatively silent about the increasing invasion into nearly everyone’s lives on the planet, an organization has popped up this past spring to turn the tide against the United States Constitution, specifically the Fourth Amendment, which like the other nine Amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, is just one sentence. It reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Restore the Fourth, a volunteer organization in cities and states across the country, is “a nationwide movement trying to reverse the encroachments and the absolute violations of our Fourth Amendment rights.”
In order to gain a fuller understanding of the organization, this reporter conducted an exclusive interview with Lorina Potter, the state representative for Restore The Fourth-Utah, who expounded upon their creative campaign to protest the attack on the Fourth Amendment by volunteering to clean up litter on a two-mile stretch of highway leading to the NSA’s Utah Data Center, which is also known as the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center.
Ms. Potter, who is from Utah, explained that “most of us here didn’t even know what was being built,” and that the locals who live nearby the center “are very wary of even speaking because they’re literally in their backyard.”
AFP asked how the organization began.
“We had our Fourth of July rally in which we tried to use a vacant lot across the street from the gates of the NSA data center,” Ms. Potter began.” “No sooner did we start setting up then they came and told us we had to leave. So after this event we got together and had kind of a roundtable where we were putting out ideas of how could we combat the barriers that we were being given and how could we do it legally, but doing it so that we could call attention as to what this building is.”
Several ideas were proposed, and Ms. Potter’s won the day. The anti-NSA group decided they would apply to the Adopt-a-Highway program run by the state in order to get close to the spy center, where volunteers will carry picket signs as they pick up litter.
“Each of us was delegated or we chose what we wanted to go forward with,” she explained. “This is the initiative that I wanted to move forward with.”
AFP asked how far away from the domestic spying center is the particular section that was adopted.
“It’s right there at the NSA data center gates,” she stated. “We will have two signs out there that have the state “Adopt-a-Highway” sign, and then underneath it it’ll say our name.”
AFP asked if they were required to buy that stretch of highway.
“No, it’s a voluntary effort,” she said. “When you adopt the road, it is by volunteer effort, so there are no charges or costs associated with it except for your time.”
According to an article in The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper, “the agreement [with the Utah Department of Transportation] calls for Restore The Fourth-Utah to pick up garbage at least three times a year.”
“Yes, that is correct,” Ms. Potter confirmed. “And obviously that’s a minimum, the minimum effort required, and I hope to be out there doing it a lot more often than that. We go to their local office to pick up the vests and the trash bags. And we go through safety training to make sure our people are kept safe.”
AFP asked if it was a remote stretch of highway.
“There is quite a bit of traffic there,” she began. “It’s a divided highway with about four lanes wide. It’s a major thoroughfare and runs parallel to I-15, which is the main highway that stretches north-to-south in Utah. And so it’s kind of like an alternative to that highway route, and so it actually does get quite a bit of traffic.
AFP asked how far away the spy center is from civilization.
“It’s in the middle of it,” she said. “Next door to it is some farmland and just about down the road is a subdivision. When you’re looking at it from the highway you can see all sorts of subdivisions, and it sits up on a hill, so it’s right in the middle of a city, right in the middle of housing.”
Although Restore The Fourth does not yet accept donations, Ms. Potter explained what the organization is in need of.
“We need more volunteers across the country to start local chapters. You can find your local chapters right there on the website.”