Civil Liberties: Locking Away The Files

Locking Away The Files

From 1948 until 1976, the FBI conducted a campaign of break-ins and infiltration against the Socialist Workers Party and the Young Socialist Alliance, two Trotskyite organizations. Two years ago, a federal judge castigated the bureau for violating the constitutional rights of both groups by illegally assembling nearly 10 million files on their members. Last week, in the final act of a 15-year legal battle, the Justice Department dropped its appeal of a 1987 court order that barred the Government from using the information in those surveillance reports.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management and other agencies had contended that not utilizing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!