CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Loosening of F.B.I. Rules Stirs Privacy Concerns"

The New York Times article links to a recently released FBI manual that has "alarmed privacy advocates."

One section lays out a low threshold to start investigating a person or group as a potential security threat. Another allows agents to use ethnicity or religion as a factor — as long as it is not the only one — when selecting subjects for scrutiny.

“It raises fundamental questions about whether a domestic intelligence agency can protect civil liberties if they feel they have a right to collect broad personal information about people they don’t even suspect of wrongdoing,” said Mike German, a former F.B.I. agent who now works for the American Civil Liberties Union.

But Valerie Caproni, the F.B.I.’s general counsel, said the bureau has adequate safeguards to protect civil liberties as it looks for people who could pose a threat.

“Those who say the F.B.I. should not collect information on a person or group unless there is a specific reason to suspect that the target is up to no good seriously miss the mark,” Ms. Caproni said. “The F.B.I. has been told that we need to determine who poses a threat to the national security — not simply to investigate persons who have come onto our radar screen.”

Bookmark and Share

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2009/10/loosening-of-fbi-rules-stirs-privacy-concerns.html

| Permalink

Comments

Post a comment