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Government Privacy

Court: Lawsuit Over NYPD Surveillance of Muslims Can Proceed (washingtonpost.com) 253

PolygamousRanchKid sends this report from the Washington Post: A federal court said Tuesday that a civil rights lawsuit accusing police in New York City of improperly singling out Muslims for surveillance could proceed, reversing a lower court's decision last year to dismiss the case. In its opinion (PDF), a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit rejected the city's call to have the case dismissed and brushed aside any suggestion that media reports about the surveillance, rather than the surveillance itself, caused any harm.

The lawsuit claims that surveillance of Muslim people in New Jersey discriminated against them due to their religion. It was filed by Muslim Advocates, a legal advocacy group, and later joined by the Center for Constitutional Rights, another legal organization, on behalf of several New Jersey Muslims who say they were unconstitutionally monitored by the New York Police Department. ... Last year, the NYPD disbanded the unit involved in the surveillance activities, a move that Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) praised in a statement at the time as "a critical step forward in easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve."

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Court: Lawsuit Over NYPD Surveillance of Muslims Can Proceed

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  • sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dejitaru ( 4258167 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @12:16AM (#50723417)
    I sometimes wonder if there will be a time when we (US Government... or any government) wont look at someones race or religion as a threat and start looking more at the individual's past actions instead. I guess the only way that could change would be if we got more diverse people into government leadership positions... or if people would stop being so scared at things they don't understand. Our fear is usually the result of our own downfall.
    • The thing is there is plenty of terrorism and violence from other groups as well. Christians, Buddhists, and even Atheists can be radicalized and be turned violent. To attack people who do not follow their views on life. Just take a look at the classic Flame wars between VI and EMACS. So much anger and hate for a FREAKING TEXT editor, that is usually both installed by default or both not at all on most systems. If you think it is any particular group of people who are the problem, you are seriously misle

    • ... start looking more at the individual's past actions ...

      How? Deep, deep surveillance? That's the topic of the day. Where's that Snowden guy?

      ... wont look at someones race or religion as a threat ...

      But then how do you categorize people at the top? Who's going to be the next asshole (those guys over there suck! We rule!)? Individuals? Puhleeeease, get back in your herd, you're not special. As a matter of fact, where are your papers? You seem to be approaching me in a threatening manner, I'm scared and it's your fault! Empty out your pockets!

      ... Our fear is usually the result of our own downfall ...

      And we usually fear new technology, we're still dealing with thi

  • The lawsuit claims that surveillance of Muslim people in New Jersey discriminated against them due to their religion.

    What would a Jersey Muslim sound like?

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @01:01AM (#50723561)

    I have to wonder if Mayor de Blasio will force the NYC PD to take a dive on this suit to get a particular precedent into law like the Obama administration has done?

    The would seem to be as easy method of advancing the agenda in a way hard to reverse. Of course that probably won't work out well for everyone else.

  • by Etherwalk ( 681268 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @02:23AM (#50723809)

    The NYPD is WAY outside its jurisdiction here... it operates in NY under the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most well-respected in the country.

  • by chipschap ( 1444407 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @02:34AM (#50723843)

    This is sort of like the Chinese complaining that counterintelligence focuses on them as being in a group that provides possible spies for China.

    What do you expect? Should counterintelligence focus on Swedes instead?

    Get real. You focus on where the problem is likely to be. Is that somehow "discrimination" or "unfair" or just common sense?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      When you look at crime rates or acts of terrorism, Muslims don't account for a particularly large proportion relative to the size of the Muslim population. Some Muslims were the most successful terrorists ever in the US with 9/11, but that one-time event which was mostly developed overseas isn't a good reason to start suspecting all Muslims or adding extra surveillance. Aside from anything else it's drawing resources away from all the non-Muslim terrorists and criminals who are more of a threat.

      Saying to so

    • by tomthepom ( 314977 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @07:13AM (#50724505)

      This is sort of like the Chinese complaining that counterintelligence focuses on them as being in a group that provides possible spies for China.

      Replace 'Chinese' with 'Asian-Americans' and you get an analogy a bit closer to the truth. And maybe then you'll see how disturbing that is, especially considering america's fairly recent history in that regard.

      What do you expect? Should counterintelligence focus on Swedes instead?

      No, but perhaps they should focus on white christians, whose extremists have killed twice as many [nytimes.com] in terror attacks in the US since 9/11. I'm not sure how compliant Christian churches would be with a little 'common sense' surveillance on their premises to weed out the extremists in their midst.

    • I expect that continuing to discriminate against a group will radicalize more members of that group. That's how terrorists work - by provoking over-reaction to sway the "fat middle" of moderates in their direction.

      Remember the London bombings of 10 years ago? Remember how the perpetrators were caught? Their families turned them in because they knew what the bombers had done was wrong and they knew they could rely on the British to treat them humanely in spite of their crimes.

  • Absolutely (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 )
    Islam is now the largest criminal prison gang [bbc.co.uk] in the UK. Muslim rape gangs run riot, and they openly target the military. Is it any surprise that we want to keep an eye on them?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I'm calling bullshit on this one. Your link is to an article from 5 years ago about people's fears, with some dubious claims that have failed to come true. There are no "Muslim rape gangs running riot", there was a network of paedophiles and sex offenders that the police and social services failed to deal with, like they failed to deal with other prolific gangs of paedophiles and sex offenders of other religions and races.

      I don't see an open targeting of the military either. Secret targeting perhaps, but no

  • Islam early history (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @03:27AM (#50723985)
    In the early years of the expansion of the Islamic Empire, during the last years of its prophet's life, the empire used the technique of hit and run brigandage on the surrounding territories as a way to soften them up for subsequent invasion. The reality is that Islam can reasonably be argued to be a moral legitimation for an expansionist empire; that the Arabs got to FRANCE before being turned back is not usually known.

    Of course there are some Muslims who are embarrassed by this history, and merely endorse Islam because that's what they grew up in. The problem is whether we should believe what they say, or realising that Islam regards itself at war with all outsiders, justifying deceiving them, treat all denials with great scepticism. And if so, do we argue that Islam is a criminal organisation? If not, why not?
    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @07:53AM (#50724643) Homepage Journal

      And if so, do we argue that Islam is a criminal organisation? If not, why not?

      The Vatican is still relocating child molesters and you want to argue about whether Islam is a criminal organization? If Islam is, then Catholicism absolutely is; the vatican is still relocating child molesters. If we can't indict the Vatican, which is provably a single criminal organization, how the shit do you expect to convince people that all of Islam is one big criminal conspiracy?

      • you are not going to get people in the US (which is also known as 'jesus land' since more americans blindly and TOTALLY follow the christian bible than believe in evolution) to fight against their chosen religion. they are blinded by brainwashing (most religious people are since they get you while you are too young to think for yourself and reject the BS) and even though you have a quite valid point - they'll never see it.

        all religions do more harm than good. but mankind so loves to think that he's immor

        • more americans blindly and TOTALLY follow the christian bible

          No, they usually follow what somebody has told them the bible says, or they cherrypick. Lots of them are against taxes, for example, after Jesus said, essentially, "Pay your taxes." (This is not always true. I had a next-door neighbor once who was that kind of Christian, was easy to get along with, and went to somewhere in Africa because he was a doctor and could really help lots of people there.)

          to fight against their chosen religion.

          To m

    • To look at the misdeeds of Islam and ignore those of every other religion is obtuse. From your argument, Islam isn't the issue. Religion is.
      • The fact that a lot of dreadful things have been done in the name of religion - and in the name of atheism (thus Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot's suppression of religion) doesn't mean we can regard all religions equally. It is most appropriate to look at the earliest expressions of the religion, and decide whether its roots are flawed, or whether it's merely a minority within it that are a problem. On this basis Christianity gets a pass - though with a 'room for improvement' given the Vatican's record over child a
  • Koran 9:29 (Score:3, Informative)

    by zapadnik ( 2965889 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @04:47AM (#50724135)

    Koran 9:29 is one of the last non-abrogated verses of the Koran and states:

    Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

    This aya replaces pretty much everything else in Islam. It is amazing that so many Slashdotters have so many opinions on Islam without understanding some of the fundamental doctrines of Islam (which Islamists try to keep hidden from you).

    • At the heart of the Western liberal mindset are two basic assumptions: everyone has essentially the same beliefs as us, and it's all right to ignore all evidence to the contrary. This derives from an over optimistic reading of history combined with the propensity of modern theology to interpret all the difficult bits of the bible away.

      Such people therefore assume that everyone else does the same to their scriptures and end up with core beliefs just like them. When they find they don't, they are forced to
    • Koran 9:29 is one of the last non-abrogated verses of the Koran and states:

      Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

      This aya replaces pretty much everything else in Islam. It is amazing that so many Slashdotters have so many opinions on Islam without understanding some of the fundamental doctrines of Islam (which Islamists try to keep hidden from you).

      The context of this scripture can be deduced from the last part, "until they give the jizyah". Jazyah is tax from non-Muslims living under Muslim rule (Muslims are supposed to give a different type of tax to the state). So it in fact doesn't imply fight against all non-believers, only those who do not pay the "non-Muslim" tax to a Muslim government. But, please don't let facts or logic guide you. They are just minor inconveniences.

      • by Jiro ( 131519 )

        So it in fact doesn't imply fight against all non-believers, only those who do not pay the "non-Muslim" tax to a Muslim government.

        The same can be said for the Mafia fighting people who don't pay protection money. I'm astonished that you think this is a defense of Islam.

        • well, its pretty common knowledge that the tea party is against paying taxes to the US government and think that there should be no consequence for tax dodging so I'm not surprised that people would apply the same reasoning to any other tax authority.

          Of course, all of that has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, Muslims or the Koran and rather more to do with their unwillingness to be a productive participant in society. But whatever.

        • So it in fact doesn't imply fight against all non-believers, only those who do not pay the "non-Muslim" tax to a Muslim government.

          The same can be said for the Mafia fighting people who don't pay protection money. I'm astonished that you think this is a defense of Islam.

          I'm astonished that you think I'm defending Islam. Being the nerd that I am, only pointing at the inaccuracy of the parent's post.

    • by Yunzil ( 181064 )

      You mean like "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"?

    • Re:Koran 9:29 (Score:4, Informative)

      by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @03:28PM (#50728815) Journal
      This isn't any different from, well, the entire OT, or quite a bit of the NT, including Revelations.
      • This isn't any different from, well, the entire OT, or quite a bit of the NT, including Revelations.

        Yes, you're absolutely correct. But a significant percentage of the terrorism which happens within our borders today is already motivated by religion, and Christians have racked up some truly impressive body counts in the name of their allegedly peace-loving God. Is that really what we want to encourage? I'm very far from racist and I give a shit where someone comes from, it's all the same to me, it's what they believe that makes a difference in how they act and how they treat other people. I don't particul

        • Sure, there's lots of religiously motivated violence, but then again, there's lots of non-religiously motivated violence.

          Somebody who's willing to blow up a building in the name of Allah, God, Jesus, or the FSM is just as likely to blow up that building in the name of freeing the proletariat, exposing the lies of the secret lizard overlords, or whatever. I think that religion is generally an excuse, rather than a causal factor. I could, however, be completely wrong.

  • by ruir ( 2709173 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2015 @06:04AM (#50724303)
    And I thought only Britain, Norway and Sweden were mad not talking about an epidemic of muslin gang rapes not be be labeled racist...
  • Why pick on Muslim people, just last week I was walking down the street and spotted this group of Nichiren Buddhists approaching in the distance, I had to cross the street and walk back the way I came from.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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