Thursday, April 10, 2014
Matt Apuzzo of the New York Times reports that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s long-awaited revisions to the Justice Department’s racial profiling rules would allow the FBI to continue many, if not all, of the tactics opposed by civil rights groups, such as mapping ethnic populations and using that data to recruit informants and open investigations.
The Bush administration last issued a "Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies" in 2003, which was criticized by this blogger as insufficiently protective against racial discrimination. The new rules, which are in draft form (but as far as I can tell have not been made available to the public), reportedly expand the definition of prohibited profiling to include not just race, but religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation. And they increase the standards that agents must meet before considering those factors. But the new rules do not change the way that the FBI uses nationality to map neighborhoods, recruit informants, or look for foreign spies, according to several current and former United States officials either involved in the policy revisions or briefed on them.