ACLU FOIA lawsuit seeks information from FBI on nationwide system for collecting “suspicious activity” information

From the ACLU:

NEW YORK (August 25, 2011) – The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit challenging the government’s failure to release documents about the FBI’s nationwide system of collecting and sharing so-called "Suspicious Activity Reports" from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

The lawsuit seeks information about the nationwide eGuardian program, launched in 2009, which allows the FBI to collect information about vague and expansively defined "suspicious activity" from law enforcement and intelligence officials across the country, as well as from the public. The program appears to give broad discretion to law enforcement officials to monitor and collect information about innocent people engaged in commonplace activities, and to store that data in criminal intelligence files without any evidence of wrongdoing. There are also serious concerns that the system opens the door to racial profiling and other improper practices.

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