Back to All Migrated Pages

Don’t Spy On Me! The NYCLU’s Spy Files Campaign

Don’t Spy On Me! The NYCLU’s Spy Files Campaign

The NYPD is watching us. Here is your chance to watch them. Find out if you are under government surveillance for your political or religious activities. File a Freedom of Information request today.

According to recent reports by the Associated Press, state law enforcement agencies are using expanded powers after 9/11 to target peaceful religious and political protest groups for infiltration and surveillance. Muslim student organizations, community groups and even small businesses have been targeted for police surveillance based solely on the religious beliefs of the communities they serve and without any suspicion that anyone has engaged in unlawful conduct.

New York has a long, proud history of robust political dissent. The NYCLU has often used Freedom of Information requests to shine a light on the government practice of surveillance. Since the days of the Red Squads when police intelligence units used to infiltrate political groups solely because they were critical of the government, the NYCLU has defended the right to dissent by making public the practices used and the files held by the police. Today, these requests should once again force the FBI, NYPD and other local law enforcement agencies to turn over their records on New Yorkers.

The federal Freedom of Information Act and the New York Freedom of Information Law are powerful legal tools to compel the government to disclose information. If you are a person or organization engaged in political protest or dissent, you can file your own request to find out if the government is spying on you.

This summary does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to provide general guidance only. If you have specific legal questions, consult a lawyer.

Click here to download the NYCLU’s guide to filing your own Spy Files Request (PDF) — or use the online version below.

About the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)


As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
© 2024 New York
Civil Liberties Union