Meet the new rules, same as the old rules—almost. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced draft revisions to racial profiling rules used by the FBI, but it doesn't seem as if the Justice Department has taken many civil rights groups' recommendations into account.
The definition of prohibited profiling is expanded a bit to go beyond race and include "religion, national origin, gender, and sexual orientation. And they increase the standards that agents must meet before considering those factors," The New York Times reported.
The changes stop short of changing the way the FBI uses nationality to map neighborhoods, recruit informants, and search for foreign spies. The rules have been going through revisions for the past five years; civil rights groups have pushed to curtail some of the expanded and unchecked authority given to the FBI following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Advocates worry that too many Muslims have been unfairly singled out for surveillance since the attacks; they hope the rules, when finalized, will prevent baseless arrests of people with no ties to terrorism.
In other news...
- Trans Teen Sent to Prison: No charges have been filed against her, but a 16-year-old trans girl is being sent to adult prison after the Department of Children and Families argued it couldn't care for her because of her history of aggression. It's unclear if she'll be sent to a male or a female prison. (via The Hartford Courant)
- Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman: CBS confirms it, and we have so many questions: Will the archconservative and satirical persona survive the transition to network television? Will the interviews stay as sharp and funny? Who gets to be his late-night sidekick? How long before the #CancelColbert crowd goes bonkers? (via Mashable)
- Before Sending in a Drone, Disown: Britain is increasingly stripping citizens of their British citizenship by letter before sending in drone strikes that kill them, clearing the government of due process requirements under its own laws. Prime Minister David Cameron's government is pushing to expand the power because it says a steady stream of British Muslims traveling to Syria to fight could pose a threat on return. (via The New York Times)
- Meatballs and Energy: The wildly popular purveyor of Swedish snacks and unpronounceable couches, Ikea, is investing in its first wind farm in the United States through a Virginia green energy company. The farm, expected to be up and running in 2015, would eventually produce enough energy to run 18 percent of Ikea's stores around the world. (via Los Angeles Times)
- Renting Around the Tech Bros: A new mapping project in San Francisco lets users report evictions and share community information about landlords who repeatedly evict tenants to drive up rents and cash in on the tech boom. (via Model View Culture)
- Only Five States Aren't Challenging Gay Marriage Bans: Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota are the only states where there aren't legal challenges to LGBT marriage bans. The bans are being challenged in 30 other states, and gay marriage is legal in 17. (via The Washington Post)
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