RealNews

Police Access to Federal Files Questioned

Civil-liberties groups are voicing concerns over a first-in-the-nation system giving local police in New York and Vermont instant access to federal files on terrorism. Critics of the pilot program caution that it poses an “enormous risk” of arrest and detention of people without cause. However, officials announcing the new information-sharing system last week emphasized that civil liberties will be protected. “It’s a very dangerous assumption that just because the information is in the system, it’s right,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “In the drive to collect data and share it, there has been a neglect of the safeguards that are absolutely essential to protect us from the misuse of information.” The system will allow state and local police to check 12 databases maintained by federal agencies, and provide officers with a direct line to federal agents to report suspicious activities. Full Story

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