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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99133 Find in a Library
Title: Attorney General's Guidelines for FBI Investigations
Journal: Cornell Law Review  Volume:69  Issue:4  Dated:(April 1984)  Pages:785-815
Author(s): J T Elliff
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 31
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the first amendment implications of Attorney General Smith's 1983 guidelines for FBI investigations in domestic security, racketeering enterprise, and general crime focuses on whether they increase the likelihood that FBI investigations will impair rights to protest and dissent and provide adequate safeguards against FBI monitoring of lawful political expression and association.
Abstract: The similarities between the new Smith guidelines and the 1979 FBI charter proposal are striking. A review of the role of the Attorney General's guidelines concludes that the current ones reflect a significant shift from the FBI's pre-1976 internal security policies to a concept of criminal intelligence tied directly to enforcement functions. The guidelines make few changes in the threshold standards for opening full domestic security-terrorism investigations, the principal differences being in the use of language drawn from the Civiletti guidelines and provisions to clarify ambiguities. The most serious ambiguity in the Smith guidelines involves the standard for opening an investigation before a crime occurs. A review of the new guidelines in the context of past policies confirm they accurately reflect a long-term policy of discouraging domestic political investigations. A statutory charter would give added protection against the use of the FBI for domestic intelligence purposes. The paper includes 152 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Attorney General; Domestic terrorism; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Freedom of speech; Investigative powers; Political policing
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