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ACLU calls on Obama, Congress to rein in FBI


The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the administration of President Barack Obama and US lawmakers to rein in the growing power of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Warning that the FBI is turning into a “secret domestic intelligence agency,” the non-profit organization advocating individual rights is calling for an end to “the FBI’s unchecked abuse of authority.”

“Since 9/11, the FBI has once again transformed itself into a domestic intelligence agency with the unprecedented power to peer into the lives of ordinary Americans and secretly amass data about people not suspected of any wrongdoing,” said the ACLU in a statement.

On Tuesday, the ACLU is to publish a critical 63-page report which will document the FBI’s expanded powers after 9/11, their impact on Americans’ civil liberties, and the bureau’s consistent abuse of those powers by evading oversight.

The report lists some examples of such abuses like the FBI’s spying on protesters and religious groups using “aggressive tactics that infringe on their free speech, religion and associational rights.”

The ACLU also urges in the report the US attorney general to conduct a comprehensive review of the FBI’s programs as it criticizes US courts for refusing to “challenge government secrecy demands.”

The secrecy surrounding the US government’s spying practices came to light, the civil liberties group argues, only after whistleblower Edward Snowden blew the lid on “the Orwellian scope of” Washington’s “domestic surveillance programs.”

Documents disclosed by Snowden has shed some light on the scope and scale of US spying programs which showed how US spy agencies collected data on American’s phone records and the Internet communications of all people around the world and even conducted cyber-attacks and hacked into the computer systems of other countries’ diplomatic missions.

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