Civil rights group sues the federal government over the surveillance of black activists

It's no longer a secret that police have conducted surveillance on activists involved in the Movement for Black Lives. Increasingly, these activists say they want to know exactly what's in the files the government may be keeping on them.

Color of Change, a national racial justice group, filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York on Thursday, over the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's rejection of its request for surveillance information on Black Lives Matter activists. The group originally made the request for agency records on July 5, under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Seeing the government fighting us so strongly on what is supposed to be a pillar of American democracy — accountability to the public — indicates to us that our government believes that black people are not entitled, as Americans, to know how our government treats us on account of our race," Color of Change media and economic justice director Brandi Collins said in a email statement.