Freedom of Expression, Association and Beliefs
Everyone has the right to express their opinions and beliefs without fear or interference.
The U.S. government is increasingly conducting surveillance, monitoring and other activities that target people based on their ideas, beliefs and identities – especially communities of activists and protestors, and people of color. These government activities may violate human rights, including the rights to privacy, freedom of expression and association, and freedom of movement.
In some cases, these activities are leading to a climate of fear and self-censorship in communities, chilling freedom of expression and systematically undermining protest movements and the integrity of community spaces.
In American Muslim communities in particular, the government has been engaged in these activities:
- A set of programs described as "Countering Violent Extremism," whereby the federal government tasks local religious and cultural leaders to monitor their communities for signs of radicalization
- Community-wide surveillance and intelligence-gathering activities, which include electronic surveillance, deploying undercover informants to community spaces and using “community outreach” as a pretext for gathering intelligence