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FBI to Restrict Student Freedoms

Slashdot story:

amigoro writes with a link to the Press Escape blog, which is discussing new guidelines suggest by the FBI for university administrations. The Federal Bureau, worried about the possibility of international espionage via our centers of learning, now sees the need to restrict the freedoms of university students for national security. "FBI is offering to brief faculty, students and staff on what it calls 'espionage indicators' aimed at identifying foreign agents. Unexplained affluence, failing to report overseas travel, showing unusual interest in information outside the job scope, keeping unusual work hours, unreported contacts with foreign nationals, unreported contact with foreign government, military, or intelligence officials, attempting to gain new accesses without the need to know, and unexplained absences are all considered potential espionage indicators."

Will this be enough to get them marching in the streets? I doubt it.

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Comments (5)


your headline is misleading, paul. what rules are the FBI putting in place to restrict student rights? oh that's right. none.

the FBI is charged with domestic counter-terrorism duties. i think we would all agree that is an important aspect of the FBI's responsibilities. in order to effectively perform these duties they need to be able to identify possible terrorists or foreign agents.

what it sounds like they are doing here is *offering* to come to the schools and lay out information of what kinds of traits might indicate that someone is working for a hostile group. oh, and this is a pilot program so that they can see how it works out.

they're not imposing any rules. they're asking for the help of students and faculty.

Paul Hamilton:

Sounds to me like they plan to spy on students for no reason whatsoever.

For example, what is the constitutional basis that requires anyone to report overseas travel or contact with a foreign national? Who defines what is "unusual" interest in information about anything?

Once again, this is a case of the government deciding that they have a right to know everything about everybody and constitutional safeguards against such spying be damned.


the question of constitutional basis would be important if the FBI were actually requiring anyone to do anything. from my reading of the article that is not the case. what i read is that the FBI was offering to come to the schools and give information as to what troublesome signs might be and to encourage, not require, people to report to the FBI if they see, spot, notice someone fitting this profile.

you know, kinda like how the jfk plot was found out. by an observant citizen reporting it.

now, if they were indeed trying to *force* people to report these things then i would have a problem.

Paul Hamilton:

Even setting up a Big Brother mindset is bad enough. This reminds me of the darkest days of the cold war when some people used to see a communist behind every bush.

And besides that, exactly who is a person supposed to report it to if he speaks with a foreign national? I'm horrified by the idea that there might be some system in place for that...


the system for calling in tips is called the FBI, it's been in place for decades.

and you know what, go back and look at the kremlin records that were released. there WERE communists behind every bush.


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