A new report from the Georgetown Law Center shows that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency routinely spies on most Americans, violating privacy laws. The report was based on a two-year investigation and found that ICE operates outside of the National Security Act of 1947 and other successive privacy protection laws. This raises serious concerns about how ICE is monitoring American citizens.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for carrying out the federal government’s immigration policies. However, a new report shows that ICE is also spying on most Americans, despite privacy laws. The report reveals that ICE has access to many data sources, including phone records, email records, social media posts, and even location data. In addition, ICE has been using this information to target immigrants for deportation.
Privacy advocates have long expressed concerns about the government’s ability to collect and use personal data without consent. The new report confirms these fears and raises serious questions about the need for reform.
The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, FBI, NSA, and military intelligence as agencies tasked with gathering information to protect the United States from foreign and domestic enemies. These agencies are prohibited from carrying out overreaching activities on American soil to protect citizens’ privacy. In the 1970s, new laws were enacted to further safeguard against government overreach after it was revealed that the FBI had been carrying out political spying.
A new report shows that ICE has been spying on Americans en masse despite these laws. This revelation is especially troubling given the Trump administration’s hardline stance on immigration. The privacy rights of Americans are being increasingly eroded, despite laws meant to protect them.
The new report alleges that ICE has been carrying out a mass surveillance operation on immigrants, using a network of private companies to collect and store data on them. This data includes their personal information, social media posts, and location data. The report also alleges that ICE has shared this data with other federal agencies, including the FBI and the NSA.
The report was based on a two-year investigation by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology, which found that ICE created a large-scale surveillance system through the sophisticated and highly invasive dragnet surveillance system to reach the lives of millions of ordinary people living across the country, from undocumented immigrants to U.S. citizens alike.
ICE has sidestepped privacy laws in states like California, which ban sharing utility information with immigration authorities. Yet, ICE has purchased hundreds of millions of Americans’ utility records through data brokers, in which those Americans have no say or knowledge. The report also highlights how this dragnet surveillance targets not just undocumented immigrants but affects everyone living in the United States, as their data is being swept up in this mass invasion of privacy.
To date, ICE has scanned the driver’s license photos of 1 in 3 adults, ICE has access to the driver’s license data of 3 in 4 adults, and ICE can locate 3 in 4 adults through their utility records. As more and more information is shared and collected without our consent or knowledge, it’s more important than ever to be aware of how our data is being used.
This report from the Georgetown Law Center raises serious concerns about how ICE is monitoring American citizens and highlights how ICE operates outside of the bounds of certain privacy protection laws. ICE has sidestepped privacy laws in California, which ban sharing utility information with immigration authorities, yet ICE has purchased hundreds of millions of Americans’ utility records through data brokers.
The ACLU is calling for an investigation into these allegations and for Congress to pass laws to protect immigrants’ privacy better. A report from the ACLU has revealed that ICE is overreaching its efforts to establish an effective role in the Intelligence Community by conducting laptop searches, behavioral profiling, targeting political groups, monitoring lawful protests, and reviewing domestic satellite surveillance.
Let us know what you think about this in the comment section below. Please share this post to raise awareness about ICE’s mass surveillance operation and how it affects our privacy rights.