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On May 4, 2011, the ACLU-NJ sued the FBI and Department of Justice for records related to the FBI's use of race and ethnicity in conducting assessments and investigations of local communities in New Jersey. According to an FBI operations guide, FBI agents have the authority to collect information about, and create maps of, so-called racial and ethnic behaviors, lifestyle characteristics and cultural traditions and "ethnic-oriented" businesses in communities with concentrated ethnic populations. The ACLU-NJ requested these documents through the Freedom of Information ACT and the FBI failed to comply with the request. The requested documents will significantly contribute to public understanding of the FBI’s potential “mapping” of local communities and businesses based on race and ethnicity and targeting of ethnic communities for special information collection, which raised grave civil rights and civil liberties concerns. In October of 2013 the 3rd Circuit upheld the district court's decision that the requested documents were exempt from disclosure.

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