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Morning Security Brief: ACLU says FBI Spied on Muslims, Internet Freedom, Fewer Illegal Immigrants, UK Reviews Olympic Security

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

 

♦ The American Civil Liberties union has accused the San Francisco FBI of compiling intelligence "on American Muslim religious organizations and their leaders' and congregants' constitutionally protected beliefs and activities, without any suspicion of wrongdoing" in the guise of community outreach. Documents obtained by the ACLU under Freedom of Information Act "show that the FBI categorized information about American Muslims' First Amendment-protected and other entirely innocuous activities, as well as mosque locations, as 'positive intelligence' and disseminated it to agencies outside the FBI. As a result, the agency wrongly and unfairly cast a cloud of suspicion over innocent groups and individuals based on their religious beliefs and associations, and placed them at risk of greater law enforcement scrutiny as potential national security threats. None of the documents indicate that the FBI told individuals interviewed that their information and views were being collected as intelligence and would be recorded and disseminated," The ACLU says.

 

♦ Internet freedom does not have to be restricted to ensure cybersecurity, U.S Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Homeland Security Bureau Chief James Barnett said in testimony yesterday before the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee. NationalJournal reports that "Congressional debate has revolved around the varying abilities of government and industry to secure cyberspace while preserving basic rights and commercial innovation. The House is considering a string of bills designed to increase cybersecurity in government and private networks."

 

♦ The Colorado Independent reports that a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security study shows that the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has stabilized and slightly lessened. The study states that an estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States in January 2011 compared to a revised 2010 estimate of 11.6 million.

 

♦ In the aftermath of shootings in France by Muslim extremist, Britain is reviewing all its security plans for this year's summer Olympics. It does, however, understand that even in one of the most security conscious nations in the world, it cannot protect everyone and everything all of the time. The Associated press reports that, "'The reality is that there are hosts of people like this and most of them will never do anything,' said a British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity to the AP because of the sensitivity of his work. 'You can't follow everyone around.'"

 

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