Friday, March 23rd, 2012. New York City – The New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement today: “In recent weeks, we’ve read about NYPD surveillance of Muslim student groups, community-based organizations and even small businesses. Press accounts show that the Police Department has spied on people up and down the Eastern Seaboard, not because they’re engaged in wrongdoing, but because of their religion, national origin and their political activism.”
3/23/2012 AP – “Documents show the New York Police Department has infiltrated liberal political groups and kept intelligence files on activists. The NYPD says it’s part of its counter-terror efforts, but many activists are concerned about civil liberties.”
NYCLU: “Just today, the Associated Press reported that undercover NYPD officers have infiltrated progressive political groups nationwide and compiled files on people engaged in political advocacy. The NYPD conducted similar spying in the run-up to the 2004 Republican National Convention in Manhattan. We challenged that spying in federal court. The lawsuit has helped uncover the scope of the NYPD’s intelligence program, but the Department has continued spying on political activists.
New York has a long, proud history of robust political dissent. The NYCLU has often used Freedom of Information requests to shed light on government abuse of surveillance. Since the days of the Red Squads, when police intelligence units infiltrated political groups solely for being critical of the government, the NYCLU has defended the right to dissent by exposing police surveillance practices and police dossiers on political activists. Today, these requests should once again force the NYPD and other law-enforcement agencies to turn over their records on New Yorkers.
The NYPD has been watching countless New Yorkers for far too long. Now it’s our turn to watch them. Find out if you are under government surveillance for your religious and political activities. Visit www.nyclu.org/SpyFiles and learn how to file a Freedom of Information request today.”
Read more from Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo on surveillance by the NYPD at the Associated Press website.