The Internet Defense League rallies to Restore the Fourth


While some may be celebrating on Independence Day with sparklers, hotdogs and pool parties, some of the biggest names on the internet will join thousands of protesters across 100 cities to Restore the Fourth — a grassroots campaign designed to raise discussion in Congress about the rules and regulations of the Fourth Amendment.

The non-violent protests are in response to documents leaked by Edward Snowden that show the NSA and its data-tracking initiative PRISM had been secretly gathering online and mobile data. With Snowden on the run nearly a month later — desperately seeking asylum in an international embassy — the conversation has turned to the future, and how U.S. citizens can guard their private data from warrantless collection. Restore the Fourth has sprung up rather quickly — organizing a national campaign in less than a month.

The Internet Defense League, a coalition of web companies against government control of the internet and its data that formed after the SOPA blackout in 2012, is also getting in on the action. Reddit released its own blog post announcing the rally and continues to hold conversations with organizers and participants at /r/restorethefourth. The league’s other members, including Mozilla and WordPress, are also involved in the rally, which was recently endorsed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The rally’s website has a comprehensive and interactive map that shows where rallies are held city-by-city, and include links to organizer pages. The organization is also running a concurrent Indiegogo campaign for the next six days, a donation drive that will put money towards grassroots online advertising of events in the form of promoted Facebook posts and structuring the organization to fight the big battle with congress in the courts.

But protests aren’t the only way the organizers are looking to hold an audience:

“What do you do while you BBQ and drink beer? You talk to your friends!” Redditor and organizer douglasmacarthur wrote during the organization’s AMA today. “What better thing to talk to them about than the future of the nation they’re currently celebrating? Set it up so you can BBQ and drink beer with them while you discuss the constitution and hand out literature.”


Jake Witmer

The very most important thing you can talk to your friends and family about this Fourth is their right to nullify bad laws.

Juries historically have had the right to decide three things:
1) If the law the defendant is charged with breaking is a legitimate law
2) If the law is legitimate, if it’s being fairly applied to the current situation
3) If the law is legitimate, and it’s being fairly applied, whether the defendant actually broke the law

All of the above must be true in order for a jury to properly render a verdict of “guilty.” However, the Supreme Court, through a series of terrible precedents now allows judges and prosecutors to (A) filter who gets to sit on the jury, and (B) incorrectly instruct the jury that their only responsibility is to decide #3 in the preceding list.

The means by which judges and prosecutors work together to filter who gets to sit on the jury is called “voir dire.” Voir dire or “jury selection” consists of the prosecutor and judge questioning jurors. Their series of questions indicates whether they are willing to “apply the law as it is given to them (by the judge).” The questions are often vague, and contain seemingly unrelated subject matter. Any hint that a juror is a nonconformist or a libertarian can and will get them removed from the jury. The questions the judge and prosecutor ask of the jury are designed to allow them to seat only uncritical conformists on the jury. The entire process of “voir dire” is unconstitutional.

If it’s unconstitutional, then how can it exist? Easy. Judges and prosecutors naturally want to expand the illegitimate power of their offices. (Many conformists can’t comprehend this desire, because they don’t possess it themselves. This blind spot of conformists has been identified by psychologists who study sociopaths.) In 1851, Northern judges who wanted to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law began allowing prosecutors to question jurors for allegiance to the law. Although the abolitionists rightfully cried foul, the practice was never repealed after the Civil War. It worked too well to allow them to enforce every unjust law that had ever been passed, and all that would be passed to the present day.


Basically I think you are mistakenly saying the word “unconstitutional” when you mean not directly declared by the constitution. The constitution (amendments 6 and 14) gives the right to an impartial jury. All laws, such as those governing voir dire, are constitutional unless it directly violates the constitution, in which case it would be a matter of fact to reject them.


Maybe I missed it, but where is the link to the Internet Defense League’s endorsement? I don’t see it? Their site also has no mention of it.

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