Thursday, August 21, 2008

Senators: FBI rules could target innocent people

Senators: FBI rules could target innocent people

By LARA JAKES JORDAN

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Some Democratic senators say proposed rules to help the FBI catch terrorists could allow the government to spy on innocent Americans "without any basis for suspicion."

Known as the "attorney general guidelines," the rules have not been approved or even publicly released yet, but lawmakers are raising concerns after being briefed on what they say.

Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island join a growing chorus of lawmakers who are asking the Justice Department to delay the rules.

They fear Americans could be targeted in part based on their race, ethnicity or religion — or free speech activities protected by the Constitution.

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