CrimProf Blog

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

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative

From an op-ed--generally favoring the program but noting objections--entitled "How to Spot a Terrorist" by John Farmer in the New York Times:

Suspicious Activity Reporting begins at the troubling intersection where law enforcement meets intelligence. Its premise is that if potential attacks are to be prevented, and not merely responded to, law enforcement must focus on precursor conduct — surveillance or “casing” of bridges or train stations, for instance — that may not itself be criminal, but may signal a coming attack.

. . .

The Suspicious Activity Reporting program recognizes both the necessity for a focus on precursor conduct and the potential for abuse. It strikes a balance by establishing a uniform process for gathering and sharing information. It seeks to avoid racial profiling and other law enforcement excesses by requiring that the reports be based on the evidence of suspicious conduct, not on what the person looks like or where he comes from.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2010/09/the-.html

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