Sounding Alarm Over Thought Crime Programs

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Rutherford Institute Warns College Against Tracking Religious, Political Ideologies

(John Whitehead, Rutherford Institute) Responding to a report suggesting that the University of Virginia should consider tracking the religious and political affiliations/ideologies of students and faculty, The Rutherford Institute has warned that such a program would raise significant constitutional concerns, especially as it pertains to the right of citizens to associate anonymously without being compelled by the government to disclose their political or religious beliefs.

“Any attempt by a government agency to establish a system by which the populace can be targeted, tracked and singled out based upon their ideological viewpoints and affiliations must be met with extreme caution,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “In an age when the government has significant technological resources at its disposal to not only carry out warrantless surveillance on American citizens but also to harvest and mine that data for its own dubious purposes, whether it be crime-mapping or profiling based on whatever criteria the government wants to use to target and segregate the populace—including race, religion or politics—the potential for abuse is grave.”

During a June 2023 meeting of the Board of Visitors for the University of Virginia, it was reportedly suggested that the school track the religious and…

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