According to The New York Times, the FBI — despite a stunning record of abuses — will soon be giving its roughly 14,000 agents significant new surveillance powers.
The loosened surveillance standards reportedly include giving agents more leeway to search commercial and police databases, to go through household trash, and to use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people the FBI doesn't even suspect of wrongdoing.
If you believe the last thing the FBI needs is more power to invade your life, send a message to Attorney General Eric Holder right now.
The current guidelines already set a dangerously low threshold for beginning an investigation or conducting surveillance about individuals or groups who are not suspected of any criminal activity. They allow the FBI to collect, analyze and map racial and ethnic data about local communities, opening up the possibility that the FBI is engaging in unconstitutional racial profiling.
I don't want the FBI to have even more authority to engage in abuses.
The FBI should refrain from monitoring people unless there is reasonable suspicion that they have committed a criminal act or are taking preparatory actions to do so. I also request that you impose stronger safeguards against the FBI using race and religion as grounds for suspicion -- and that you do not permit an expansion of unchecked surveillance powers.