FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Mary Tablante, email@example.com
Washington, DC—Yesterday,the FBI announced internal procedural updates intended to increase accountability for violations of internal rules governing individual person queries, including a “three strikes” policy for FBI agents that violate rules and provisions that would add FISA compliance to the performance evaluations of FBI field office leaders. In response, the Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) and other national advocacy groups have vocally agreed that the announcement falls short of the level of vigilance needed to hold intelligence agencies accountable to the many human rights and privacy abuses they have perpetrated against countless numbers of people—including the nation’s top researchers and scholars that contribute greatly to the United States’ leadership in science and technology.
While AASF welcomes any efforts from the federal government to create mechanisms for increased transparency and accountability of its agencies, they call on the federal government to take more serious steps to reform Section 702 and FISA, and to address the legal loopholes that allow warrantless surveillance of innocent people.
AASF Executive Director Gisela Perez Kusakawa said, “Fair, trustworthy, and comprehensive privacy protections for Americans are long overdue, and yesterday’s announcement from the FBI is far from it. Time and time again, we have watched our esteemed colleagues and their families be subjected to aggressive and unconstitutional investigations that have upended their careers and sent many of them packing. AASF member Professor Xiaoxing Xi, a Chinese-American physics professor at Temple University, was devastatingly impacted by Section 702 of FISA and Executive Order 12333—the effects of which he still experiences to this day. Without a serious commitment from the federal government to address warrantless and discriminatory surveillance and arrests, the United States will continue to damage its relationship with the Asian American and scholar community, including impacted scholars such as Xi and potentially lose its footing as a global leader in the sciences.”
Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) is a national non-profit that promotes academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality for all. In response to heightened anti-Asian sentiments and profiling in the U.S., AASF has been a leading national voice fighting for the rights of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars. AASF membership includes members from the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, in addition to past and current university presidents, provost, vice provosts, deans, associate deans and past and current department chairs.