Fear of a Black and Brown Internet: Policing Online Activism

41 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2020

See all articles by Sahar F. Aziz

Sahar F. Aziz

Rutgers Law School

Khaled A. Beydoun

Arizona State Univeristy (ASU) College of Law

Date Written: May 4, 2020


Virtual surveillance is the modern extension of established policing models that tie dissident Muslim advocacy to terror suspicion and Black activism to political subversion. Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”) and Black Identity Extremism (“BIE”) programs that specifically target Muslim and Black populations are shifting from on the ground to online. Law enforcement exploits social media platforms — where activism and advocacy is robust — to monitor and crack down on activists. In short, the new policing is the old policing, but it is stealthily morphing and moving onto virtual platforms where activism is fluidly unfolding in real time. This Article examines how the law’s failure to keep up with technological advancements in social media poses serious risks to the ability of minority communities to mobilize against racial and religious injustice.

Keywords: Black Lives Matter, Muslims, Islam, Countering Violent Extremism, Black Identity Extremists, BIE, CVE, BLM, Surveillance, Policing, Racism, Religious Freedom

Suggested Citation

Aziz, Sahar F. and Beydoun, Khaled, Fear of a Black and Brown Internet: Policing Online Activism (May 4, 2020). 100 B.U. L. Rev. 1153, 2020 , Rutgers Law School Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3592687

Sahar F. Aziz (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.rutgers.edu/directory/view/8277

Khaled Beydoun

Arizona State Univeristy (ASU) College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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