Craig Roush


In the decade since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, local law enforcement has become the front line in the nation’s counterterrorism strategy. This involvement has not come without controversy. As part of these counterterrorism efforts, police departments have begun to establish widespread surveillance and intelligence-gathering networks to monitor Muslim and other ethnic neighborhoods in the hopes of stopping the next terrorist attack at its source. Such surveillance does not necessarily run afoul of the Constitution, and both our political environment—in which voters demand that the government stop terrorism at all costs—as well as unprecedented levels of federal funding to fight terrorism have made these surveillance programs an attractive option for local law enforcement. But the same programs risk compromising citizens’ civil liberties and damaging police relationships with ethnic communities. This Comment analyzes whether and how a balance might be struck between national security and individual civil liberties interests, and offers a model statutory solution drawn from police surveillance in a non-terrorism- related context as one possible way forward.

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