Hundreds rally for reformed NSA activities at Capitol

Amid new reports of NSA activity abroad, hundreds gathered for a rally outside the Capitol Saturday.

WASHINGTON – Nearly 1,000 people gathered outside the Capitol Saturday to protest the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, calling for the NSA to “stop watching us.”

The rally was organized by the group, “Stop Watching Us,” which is putting renewed pressure on Congress to investigate the NSA’s mass surveillance programs.

“Fearful people are powerless people,” says Laura Murphy, director of the Washington legislative office at the American Civil Liberties Union. “Guess what? We’re not afraid and we’re not powerless.”

Stop Watching Us delivered a petition, which was signed by about 575,000 people, to Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on stage. The petition calls for Congress to investigate NSA programs.

Leaders from groups like Free Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation also spoke at the rally.

Holmes Wilson, of Fight for the Future, an online activism group, says NSA activities

“We’re here because we are terrified of the extent to which the NSA is spying Americans phone calls, emails, text messages,” he says. “We think it’s just a fundamental threat to democracy.”

Edward Snowden endorsed the event, and his father attended the rally.

WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.