The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

DoJ Policy Would Sanction Racial Profiling, Let FBI Target Americans Without Cause

Posted by invizweb on July 8, 2008

For the Wired Blog Network, Kim Zetter reported:

The Justice Department is considering establishing a new policy that would allow the FBI to target Americans for investigation even in the absence of evidence or other compelling indications that the person was breaking a law, according to the Associated Press.

The policy, being considered as part of the attorney general’s guidelines to the FBI, would allow the agency to conduct racial profiling — potentially singling out Muslim- and Arab-Americans — and to open preliminary terrorism investigations against targets simply on the basis of patterns established through data mining public records and other information.

The agency would be allowed to profile targets based on their race and activities, such as travel to the Middle East or any other part of the world associated with terrorism. But race would be only one factor in the decision to open an investigation.

The changes would allow FBI agents to ask open-ended questions about activities of Muslim- or Arab-Americans, or investigate them if their jobs and backgrounds match trends that analysts deem suspect.

FBI agents would not be allowed to eavesdrop on phone calls or dig deeply into personal data — such as the content of phone or e-mail records or bank statements — until a full investigation was opened.

Read more.


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