CLEVELAND— The ACLU of Ohio announced today that it would no longer accept funding from the United Way amid concerns that the organization would be forced to monitor whether its employees were placed on government terror watch lists.
“These lists have been shown to be inaccurate and unreliable and they provide no means for those who are on the lists to correct or defend themselves from inaccuracies,” said Christine Link, ACLU of Ohio Executive Director. “Innocent lives can be ruined based on their inclusion on these vague and inaccurate government-sponsored lists.”
The ACLU also raised concerns that identifying terror suspects should not be a task for individual private organizations, but should instead be a duty of trained law enforcement officials using individualized, substantiated evidence.
In addition, Link also noted that these lists pose a grave threat to First Amendment rights of free speech and association for those who have not been convicted or charged with any crime. Link said, “Forcing non-profit organizations to use these large, ambiguous and inaccurate lists threatens the rights of many, but does nothing to provide better guards against terrorism and goes against the very principles of a free and open society.”