7 FAM 170
REPORTING ON AMERICAN COMMUNITY GROUPS ABROAD
(Office of Origin: CA/OCS)
7 FAM 171 SUMMARY
The Privacy Act prohibits reporting or record keeping by the Department of an individual’s exercise of his/her Constitutional freedoms. However, the same prohibitions do not apply to organized groups of U.S. citizens/nationals overseas if their activities may adversely affect the welfare of U.S. citizens/nationals, impact on foreign relations, or violate U.S. or foreign laws.
7 FAM 172 SITUATIONS REQUIRING REPORTING
Examples of activities of U.S. citizen/national communities abroad requiring reporting to the Department include, but are not limited to:
(1) Reporting on exhortations of suicide by cult or group leaders;
(2) Child abuse or exploitation within a cult or group that condones such activity;
(3) Suspected criminal activity or advocacy of criminal activity by any cult or group member;
(4) Knowledge from public or private sources of activities that may have a significant impact on foreign relations; and
(5) Violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Consular officers should inform the Department about the nature and activities of such groups by cable, using CASC, KOCI and other appropriate tags.
7 FAM 173 THINGS TO AVOID
You should avoid:
(1) Identifying or naming specific individuals, unless it is necessary to understand the activity or assess its importance; and
(2) Speculating about the person’s motives or state of mind, unless it is necessary for the Department to assess the individual’s credibility and the importance of the information, in which case, the consular officer’s opinion should appear in a separate paragraph labeled as “comment.”
7 FAM 174 through 179 UNASSIGNED