Federal Appeals Court Sides With FBI On Withholding Info On Use of Race Data


A federal appeals court upheld the FBI's refusal to release records on its use of racial and ethnic demographic data in Michigan against fears the agency might be engaging in racial profiling, reports the National Law Journal. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said the FBI properly withheld records under an exemption on law enforcement information that could hamper enforcement if released. The information involved FBI methods of selecting demographic data to analyze and its analysis of that data. “Our intelligence and law-enforcement agencies are awash in a sea of data, much of it public, so a choice to focus on a particular slice of that data directly reveals a targeting priority, and indirectly reveals the methodologies and data used to make that selection. There is no way to release certain types of public information without showing the FBI selection process,” Judge Danny Boggs wrote. The American Civil Liberties Union says the FBI maps “so-called racial and ethnic behaviors, lifestyle characteristics and cultural traditions and ethnic-oriented businesses in communities with concentrated ethnic populations.”

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