October 21, 2010
ACLU Warns Of Growing Military Presence In Domestic Law Enforcment And Security Operations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – The New York Times today reported on new procedures adopted by the Obama administration essentially providing for a working partnership between the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expand the government’s cybersecurity capabilities.
According to the report, the Pentagon is expected to issue a cybersecurity strategy later this year and the Obama administration could release a directive next year to guide relationships between various agencies and their work on the issue.
The American Civil Liberties Union warned that allowing the military to conduct domestic law enforcement and security operations could potentially threaten fundamental principles of democratic government and urged both the DOD and DHS to protect Americans’ privacy during their work together.
The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
“We are very concerned that the line between the military and domestic law enforcement continues to blur. The military is trained to fight foreign enemies, not to enforce domestic laws.
“These new procedures could have serious consequences for Americans’ civil liberties without proper safeguards in place. There must be vigorous and strict oversight of this partnership to prevent innocent Internet users from being caught up in unwarranted surveillance.
“Proposals with civil liberties implications as serious as these should be subject to robust public debate before any policy is implemented so that we can ensure that Americans’ privacy and civil liberties remain a priority.”