Restore the Fourth

Restore the Fourth is an American 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that seeks to strengthen the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and to eliminate programs that violate it.[1][2] It organized protests in 2013 & 2014, and in 2015, helped to introduce the Surveillance State Repeal Act.

Restore the Fourth
FormationJune 8, 2013, United States (incorporated 2014)
Type501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation
PurposeEnforcement of Fourth Amendment rights
HeadquartersBelmont, MA
Region served
United States
National Chair
Alex Marthews
Main organ
Board of Directors
WebsiteOfficial website


Restore the Fourth NYC

Restore the Fourth originated from the social media website Reddit, shortly after the information leak by Edward Snowden, which exposed the US National Security Agency's (NSA) mass surveillance programs, most notably the PRISM program. A Reddit subforum dedicated to the movement was created on June 8, 2013, garnering over 15,000 subscribers in 2 weeks.[citation needed][3] From there, Restore the Fourth moved to Snoonet, which is an IRC network for Reddit communities. Most movement organization efforts prior to July 4, 2013 occurred there, where local organizers, national organizers, and users from the subreddit collaborated.[4]

The first Restore the Fourth protest occurred on June 30, 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. Subsequent Independence Day protests occurred on July 4 with more than 70 local rallies across all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] 500 protesters attended the rallies in Washington, D.C. and 950 people participated in New York City.[12] In Munich, Germany, protesters gathered in front of the U.S. Consulate wearing Edward Snowden masks.[13] Organizers estimated a national turnout of more than 10,000.[12]

Further rallies were held on Orwell Day (August 4) to push for the passage of the USA Freedom Act and to call for the shutting down of the growing network of fusion centers across the United States.[citation needed][14]

From November 2013 to April 2014, the organization saw a period of significant turnover, before relaunching with national elections in May 2014 as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit with 25 chapters around the country, under the leadership of Alex Marthews.[15][16]


According to Restore the Fourth's bylaws, the organization seeks to:[17]

  • Educate the public in order to decrease support for warrantless and unconstitutional general warrant surveillance, and the bulk collection of private data for government surveillance purposes.
  • Lobby public officials regarding policies and laws identified above.
  • Provide educational, financial, and organizational support to Restore the Fourth chapters.


Restore the Fourth had received support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation,[18] Sen. Rand Paul,[19] Judge Andrew Napolitano,[20] and DuckDuckGo.[21]

The NSA addressed the July 4 protest in a statement, saying: "The Fourth of July reminds us as Americans of the freedoms and rights all citizens of our country are guaranteed by our Constitution. Among those is freedom of speech, often exercised in protests of various kinds. NSA does not object to any lawful, peaceful protest."[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Restore The Fourth FAQ". Archived from the original on 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  2. ^ "Restore The Fourth: Group Organizes Nationwide Anti-NSA Spying Protests On July 4". Huffington Post. 2013-06-28.
  3. ^ Seering, Joseph. "Reconsidering Community Self-Moderation: the Role of Research in Supporting Community-Based Models for Online Content Moderation". Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput.
  4. ^ "THBCDTALOI". Issuu. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  5. ^ Restore the Fourth Protests
  6. ^ "NSA surveillance: protesters stage Restore the Fourth rallies across US". The Guardian. 2013-07-05.
  7. ^ "Crowds across America protest NSA in 'Restore the Fourth' movement". Fox News. 2013-07-04.
  8. ^ "Protests against the NSA spring up across U.S." CNN. 2013-07-04.
  9. ^ "Fourth of July Anti-NSA-Snooping Rallies Coming to a City Near You". Time magazine. 2013-07-03.
  10. ^ "Internet sites join July 4 protest against surveillance". Reuters. 2013-07-04.
  11. ^ "Protests against secret NSA tactics to light up Web July 4". Los Angeles Times. 2013-07-04.
  12. ^ a b c "Independence Day, NSA leaks inspire 'Fourth Amendment' rallies". NBC News. 2013-07-04.
  13. ^ "Protests against the NSA spring up across U.S." CNN. 2013-07-04.
  14. ^ "Coalition Letter to Senate Leadership Detailing Necessary Elements of Supportable USA FREEDOM Act". American Library Association. 2014.
  15. ^ "Get Involved". Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  16. ^ Jeremy Koulish. "From Camps to Campaign Funds". The History, Anatomy, and Activities of 501(c)(4) Organizations.
  17. ^ "Bylaws – Restore The Fourth". Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  18. ^ "Restore the Fourth Campaign Organizes Protests Against Unconstitutional Surveillance". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 2013-07-01.
  19. ^ Greenstein, Nicole (July 3, 2013). "Fourth of July Anti-NSA-Snooping Rallies Coming to a City Near You". Time.
  20. ^ "Restore the Fourth". 2015-05-07.
  21. ^ "DuckDuckGo Donations". DuckDuckGo. Retrieved 2022-01-04.

External linksEdit