This morning, the Knight Institute sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, urging them to clarify the scope of a new initiative that will see the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security partner with campus law enforcement to track “hate-related threats” on college campuses. 

To date, the administration has shared only limited information about the initiative, which was announced in October as part of a suite of new actions aimed at combatting antisemitism at colleges and universities. It is unclear whose speech will be monitored and how, and what, if any, guardrails will be put into place. 

As the letter notes, federal law enforcement has a legitimate role in addressing threats of violence, but surveillance of students’ speech must be subject to clear limits and strong oversight. 

Read the letter here.