muckrock: Early FBI investigative techniques relied heavily on ethnic stereotypes

www.muckrock.com_2016-08-04_21-26-51.jpgEarly FBI investigative techniques relied heavily on ethnic stereotypes – [muckrock] – Much of the memo, which was addressed to Director J. Edgar Hoover, appeared smudged beyond deciphering. However, the legible passages provide a glimpse into the tactics some FBI agents employed in their investigations during the early Cold War era. Many of the approaches relied on stereotyping subjects based on their ethnicity and religion, while others expose important technological advancements that agents still rely on today. Alluding to the post-WWII, communist-fearing time frame it was written, the document details early uses of wiretapping and radio broadcasting. The memo reads, “In a Japanese espionage case, a small portable radio which could be concealed on the person, was placed on an informant who had a conference with two Jap spys [sic] regarding espionage information on which the informant supposedly had obtained regarding the U.S. Navy. This conversation was broadcast by the portable radio and recorded in a Bureau automobile about one block away.”

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