Restore the Fourth

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Restore the Fourth
Restore the Fourth Logo.png
Abbreviation RT4
Formation June 8, 2013, United States (incorporated 2014)
Type 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation
Purpose Enforcement of Fourth Amendment rights
Headquarters Belmont, MA
Region served
United States
National Chair
Alex Marthews
Main organ
Board of Directors
Website Official website

Restore the Fourth is an American 501(c)(4) nonprofit that seeks to strengthen the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and end programs that violate it.[1][2] It organized protests in 2013 and 2014, and in 2015 helped to introduce the Surveillance State Repeal Act, besides other lobbying activities.


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

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.[3] [4][5][6][7][8][9] On July 4, many protests hosted hundreds of attendees, and as many as 500 protesters attended the rallies in Washington, D.C. and 950 in New York City.[10] In Munich, Germany, protesters gathered in front of the U.S. Consulate wearing Edward Snowden masks.[11] Organizers estimated a national turnout of more than 10,000.[10]

Further rallies were held to mark Orwell Day (August 4), to push for the passage of the USA Freedom Act (October 26), and to call for the shutting down of the growing network of fusion centers across the United States (April 10).[citation needed] During November 2013 - 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.[citation needed]

Stated goals[edit]

According to Restore The Fourth's legislative platform, the organization seeks to:

  • Restore reliance on warrants based on individualized probable cause.
  • Impose penalties on agencies and agents who conduct surveillance not meeting this standard.
  • Pass legislation limiting the Third-Party Doctrine, improving government transparency, and preventing end-runs around the Fourth Amendment by using foreign partner agencies or contractors.


Restore the Fourth has received support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation,[12] Sen. Rand Paul,[13] and Judge Andrew Napolitano.[14]

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."[10]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]