Spy Files | American Civil Liberties Union
Today the government is spying on Americans in ways the founders of our country never could have imagined. The FBI
, federal intelligence agencies
, state and local police
, private companies
, and even firemen and emergency medical technicians
are gathering incredible amounts of personal information about ordinary Americans that can be used to construct vast dossiers that can be widely shared with a simple mouse-click through new institutions likeJoint Terrorism Task Forces
, fusion centers
, and public-private partnerships
. The fear of terrorism has led to a new era of overzealous police intelligence activity directed, as in the past
, against political activists, racial and religious minorities, and immigrants.
This surveillance activity is not directed solely at suspected terrorists and criminals. It’s directed at all of us. Increasingly, the government is engaged in suspicionless surveillance that vacuums up and tracks sensitive information about innocent people. Even more disturbingly, as the government’s surveillance powers have grown more intrusive and more powerful, the restrictions on many of those powers have been weakened or eliminated. And this surveillance often takes place in secret, with little or no oversight by the courts, by legislatures, or by the public.