The Detroit chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has lost a round in its fight with the FBI over racial and ethnic mapping.
The ACLU sued the FBI after the bureau refused to release details about how it uses demographic information in its investigations.
But a federal appeals court says the FBI is allowed to withhold some information so that criminals and terrorists don't know what the bureau is looking into.
Nusrat Choudhuri argued the case for the ACLU. She says the court's decision has far-reaching negative consequences.
"Because the court endorsed a secret and one-sided process to adjudicate potential FBI abuses of its authority to keep information secret from the public," Choudhuri says.
She says FBI documents she's seen show Muslims and Arabs in Michigan are disproportionately targeted in investigations.
"The bureau is profiling some communities for intelligence collection based on false stereotypes that ascribe certain types of crimes to entire minority communities. The ruling undermines government transparency and accountability," Choudhuri says.
The ACLU has not decided whether to pursue the case further.