Vermonters from across the state came out to hear speakers discuss what they call attacks against citizens' constitutional rights and rights to privacy.
Barre Resident Wendy Rieger said Saturday, "You can disagree but it's time that we come together as a nation we're really split and that's rather pernicious for our country."
"Bernie hammered home several times in regard to our freedoms. We need to defend them. We need more attention brought to this issue," said Duke Forcier of Montpelier.
Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, addressed the crowd, "If you believe in limited government, my god, how can you not be in opposition?"
Concerns were expressed about the fight on terrorism and advances in technology blurring the lines between what the government should know, and what they shouldn't.
"How do we in fact protect the American people from a terrorist attacks, but do it in a way that does not undermine the constitutional rights and the civil liberties and the privacy rights that make us a free country," said Sanders.
The phone Meta Data surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden was referred to as one of the ways government has violated privacy. It's a system used by the NSA to track billions of cell phones and keep record of millions of text messages.
David Cole, Georgetown Law Professor, said, "When our government is adopting programs as broad as this, which affect every last one of us, and doing it in secret and lying to keep it secret, we have frustrated the process of democracy."
As the problem was made clear, the solution is more of a challenge. But with 30 bills now pending in congress addressing privacy concerns, the panel did suggest a starting point.
"Ultimately it's about public education, its a culture to recognize that while the Internet age has given us lots of great benefits, we are also at risk of loosing some of our most fundamental values unless we pay attention," said Cole.
The need for more public discussion was also addressed. But as Vermont's elected officials join others in the fight to create more transparency, the fight to find balance continues.
Monday, March 10 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-03-10 14:31:26 GMT
The spring issue of "4 Legs & a Tail" has hit news stands. Stories include getting your pet adjusted to a new baby, advice on keeping pets safe during golf season and Vermont's first Dog and Pony Show.More >>
The spring issue of "4 Legs & a Tail" has hit news stands. Editor Tim Hoehn visited the Morning Show to share a few of the cover stories that might interest pet lovers.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 10:26 AM EDT2014-03-10 14:26:50 GMT
A well-known Vermont judge has passed away.According to the Vermont Standard Judge Franklin Billings Jr., died Sunday morning. Billings was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1960, quicklyMore >>
Franklin Billings Jr., an iconic political and judicial leader and the son of a former Vermont governor, has died at the Woodstock home where he was born. He was 91.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-03-10 13:36:39 GMT
Chef Courtney Contos of Contos Store and Kitchen in Shelburne gave us her mom's homemade soda bread recipe. This Irish treat is just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Try your hand at it. Mom's Irish SodaMore >>
Chef Courtney Contos of Contos Store and Kitchen in Shelburne gave us her mom's homemade soda bread recipe. This Irish treat is just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Try your hand at it.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:43:23 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
A trio of gun control measures may have gotten the green light from Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, but the charter changes face strong opposition across the state, and a possible uphill battle at the Statehouse.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>