We’re delighted to welcome Restore The Fourth’s latest new chapter, RT4-Pittsburgh, convened this month by Sean Donahue. This brings us to three new chapters formed just since Election Day, for a total of 17. If you’d like to help form a chapter and push back against the surveillance state in your area, please email us; or to join an existing chapter, check out the chapter map and contact your local chapter leader!
By Danielle Kerem
Restore the Fourth has once again filed an amicus brief that challenges the plurality opinion in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1990) and seeks to promote an understanding of the Fourth Amendment that imposes limits on the exertion of U.S. authority against citizens and non-citizens alike — including children like Sergio Hernandez, a 15-year-old citizen of Mexico who was shot and killed by U.S. border patrol agent Jesus Mesa in the summer of 2010.
This past week, attorney Mahesha Subbaraman of Subbaraman PLLC submitted an amicus brief on behalf of our organization to the Supreme Court of the United States. The case, Hernandez v. Mesa, asks the Court to decide whether the use of deadly force against Sergio Hernandez, by a U.S. border patrol agent who deliberately fired at the unarmed teenager from American soil, constituted a violation of Hernandez’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. In our brief, we argue that the Fourth Amendment does indeed govern federal officers’ use of excessive force in cross-border shootings, as well as outline the historical and jurisprudential origins of that claim.
By Alex Marthews
Part of the vision of the Founders was a republic so peaceful and so brimming with liberty that, in the words of the prophet Micah, “Every man shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.”
What we want as a movement is not simply an end to mass surveillance, but the revival of the ability to live free, creative, loving and flourishing lives. The best way to crush creativity and destroy happiness at work is to track every worker’s every activity, every moment of every day. A nation is no different. We all need space; we need free air to breathe; we need the knowledge that our government knows its bounds, and will not trespass into our lives without reason.
Instead, under President Obama, we see peaceful water protectors shot with rubber bullets and water cannons; protesters against police abuse spied on using stingrays and spy planes; and all of our communications sucked into the NSA’s rapacious maw. Under President Trump, we can expect more of the same.
At this point, everyone should realize that there’s a process at work here that the President doesn’t really control — a corrupt, out-of-control DC-based deep state that has no problem sacrificing your privacy and mine in the name of counter-terrorism, efficiency, and profits, while committing crimes of their own without comeback or consequences.
But it’s also important to realize that in our towns, cities, counties and states, we can meaningfully rally back against what they’re trying to do. Across America, we’re organizing to pass surveillance oversight ordinances that can protect your town from surveillance technologies being deployed without your knowledge or consent. We’re using the courts to argue for restoring the Fourth Amendment. Our growing network of chapters is helping Americans everywhere use tools like Tor, Signal and Protonmail to protect themselves better.
One day, as Micah says, there shall be none that shall make us afraid. But there’s a little work to be done before we get there. Join us, and help Restore The Fourth.