ACLU Seeks U.S. Surveillance Records

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(AP) The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked a judge on Wednesday to order the Justice Department to release information on increased surveillance in the United States under a law passed after last year’s terrorist attacks.

The ACLU on Aug. 21 filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking records involving the implementation of the USA Patriot Act, which broadened the government’s surveillance capabilities in order to stop future attacks.

The motion filed in U.S. District Court says that the Justice Department has done little to comply with the request for records and asks a judge to order their speedy release. The ACLU says the information being sought, generally policy directives and statistical information, would not jeopardize national security or ongoing investigations.

“Continued delay deprives the public of information critical to its ability to understand and evaluate government policy,” the motion says.

The information sought includes circulation records from libraries, bookstore purchase records, the expanded use of telephone surveillance techniques, and how many times the law has been used in searches and other surveillance.

Justice Department officials declined comment on the motion. Previously, the agency has said that some of the information being demanded is classified.

On the Net:

ACLU: http://www.aclu.org

Justice Department: http://www.usdoj.gov

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