NYPD infiltration of colleges raises privacy fears - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

NYPD infiltration of colleges raises privacy fears

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In this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly speaks during a ceremony to promote police officer Feris Jones to detective, in New York. (AP) In this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly speaks during a ceremony to promote police officer Feris Jones to detective, in New York. (AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Police documents obtained by The Associated Press show that investigators have been infiltrating Muslim student groups at New York City colleges, monitoring their Internet activity and placing undercover agents in their ranks.

Legal experts say the operation may have broken a 19-year-old pact with the colleges and violated U.S. privacy laws, jeopardizing millions of dollars in federal research money and student aid.

The infiltration was part of a secret NYPD intelligence-gathering effort that put entire Muslim communities under scrutiny. Police also photographed restaurants and grocery stores that cater to Muslims and built databases showing where people shopped, got their hair cut and prayed.

Last week, professors at the City University of New York's Law School issued a statement warning that the spying at CUNY campuses may have violated civil rights laws.

And last week the New York City Council demanded answers from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who defended the department he has transformed since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He said police only follow leads and do not single out groups based on religion.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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