The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has asked for public comments regarding privacy and civil liberties issues concerning the government’s efforts to counter domestic terrorism. On April 25, 2022, Defending Rights & Dissent submitted public comments calling attention specifically to the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts’ implications for First Amendment-Protected Activities.
Specifically, Defending Rights & Dissents called attention to
How the loose standards for FBI domestic terrorism investigations enable First Amendment abuses
How the FBI’s persistent extremist movements framework lays the groundwork for treating speech as terrorism
How the use of radicalization theory and the FBI’s “preventive” approach opens the door for political policing
The clear evidence of political bias in the initiation of investigations.
Defending Rights & Dissent is guided by the Bill of Rights, which was adopted to limit the power of the state over individuals and to preserve basic human and individual rights for every person under U.S. jurisdiction or control, even in times of war or other national crises, and regardless of who holds elected power.
In 2015, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the Defending Dissent Foundation agreed to merge to place both organizations and their respective supporters in an even stronger position to help restore constitutional rights eroded by executive agencies.