Civil Liberties Coalition Raises Concerns about Surveillance of Chinese Students Intending to Study in the United States


Case Overview

On February 11, 2019, FIRE, the National Coalition Against Censorship, Defending Rights & Dissent, PEN America, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo about reports that the Trump administration is considering stronger vetting procedures of Chinese students intending to study at U.S. campuses, including surveillance of their phone records and social media use. The coalition letter expressed concerns that Chinese students would self-censor and that the speech of their American associates would be chilled as a result of increased surveillance, and asked the administration to abandon any potential vetting procedures that would threaten expressive rights on American campuses.