National Security

The ACLU opposes federal programs, undertaken in the name of national security, that invade civil liberties. Often, these programs improperly target people of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian descent, or people with unpopular or dissident political beliefs. Such programs do little to make us safer, while doing much to make us less free. We filed lawsuits challenging the federal government’s abusive border detentions of Muslim citizens resulting from a systematically dysfunctional FBI watch list; the collaboration of the phone companies with the National Security Agency’s seizure of the phone records of millions of consumers in violation of a federal privacy statute; and the FBI’s wrongful detention and physical abuse of a foreign national in the months immediately following September 11. Moreover, we monitor and oppose state and local programs that undermine civil liberties in the name of national security, such as Chicago’s network of 10,000 video surveillance cameras.


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