Columbia president says NYPD monitoring troubling

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University's president says the New York Police Department's monitoring of Muslim students' public websites was an "intrusion" into their daily activities and "raises deeply troubling questions."

President Lee C. Bollinger criticized the police department's tactics in a letter sent to the Columbia community Friday.

It was the most emphatic statement of opposition by the noted First Amendment scholar since The Associated Press revealed last weekend police monitored Muslim student associations at Columbia and other colleges.

Efforts included tracking websites and sending an undercover officer on a rafting trip with students from the City College of New York.

The NYPD has defended its tactics as necessary to keeping the city safe.

Bollinger said such actions could have a "chilling effect" on the free speech and association that the university prizes.

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