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Department of Justice Proposes Sharing Intelligence With Local Police

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The U.S. Department of Justice is considering a new policy that would make it easier for local and state police to share intelligence on groups they suspect have links to terrorism. Civil liberties groups say the change amounts to domestic spying.

REPORTER: The proposed rules are designed to better integrate local and state police intelligence, so they can share it with federal authorities. Mike German, a former FBI agent, is with the ACLU. He says the changes reverse Congressional reforms put in place after abuses of authority in the '60's, like the FBI's Operation Cointelpro that targeted civil rights and peace groups.

GERMAN: All these guidelines that were put on both the FBI and on state and local police during that period when such abuses were discovered have basically evaporated.

REPORTER: But a Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, says the new regulations would actually ensure that police honor civil liberties protections and privacy safeguards. The public comment period on the changes ends early next month.

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