A win, if a small and tenuous one. This practice should be stopped at all levels in the United States.
“This is a significant advancement to reform a practice that is a clear violation of due process that is often used to disproportionately target communities of color,” Laura Murph, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office director told Ars in a statement.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation also did its own research into how much of the federal asset forfeiture funds were going back into surveillance and wiretapping, finding that California spent $13.6 million on spying.
“Holder’s announcement could have a significant impact on how law enforcement agencies fund electronic surveillance,” Dave Maas, an EFF spokesman, told Ars. “However, it’s important to remember that the next administration’s attorney general could easily reverse this policy decision. Further, many states also have their own asset forfeiture programs, so a whole second layer of funding remains on the state level.”