Matt Howes / ACLU – 2004-12-15 00:25:06
Do you want FBI agents following you or your neighbors into your churches, synagogues or mosques and documenting what goes on there?
Recently released documents indicate that FBI agents have been spying on innocent people under guidelines relaxed by Attorney General John Ashcroft. Ashcroft restructured these guidelines — without consultation with Congress — to allow FBI agents to spy on religious and political activity even if there was no suspicion of criminal activity.
Ashcroft’s new guidelines revoked long-standing protections from government abuse and there is evidence that the FBI and local police are using this opportunity to spy on environmental, political and faith-based groups. This spying is not only unnecessary but also invasive of personal privacy. The police should not spy on individuals because they attended a rally supporting better funding for their child’s school or they expressed discontent with the government’s policy toward Sudan.
In recent days, thanks to your hard work, many of the most grievous parts of the intelligence reform bill were stripped out. While the final bill has several problems, without the outcry against several of its dangerous provisions by concerned people like you, it would have been much worse. We now need to build on this momentum and reign in excessive FBI spying powers.
Take Action! Urge Congress to support proper checks and balances on FBI spying.
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