RealNews

New York Seeks Looser Police Surveillance Rules

The city asked a federal judge yesterday to ease the limits on police surveillance of political groups, a move that would enable officers to initiate investigations without evidence of a crime and to share their information with other law enforcement agencies. The judge, Charles S. Haight of Federal District Court in Manhattan, agreed last week to modify a longstanding court order on such surveillance, which the Police Department said made it hard to look into terrorism. But specifics of the modified rules have yet to be determined. Judge Haight, citing what he called “fundamental changes in the threats to public security,” had indicated that he was swayed by the Police Department’s willingness to adopt a version of F.B.I. surveillance guidelines issued last year in the aftermath of the terror attacks. The proposal submitted yesterday is similar to the F.B.I. rules, said Gail Donoghue, special assistant to the city’s corporation counsel. Full Story

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