A civil liberties group said on Friday it has sued the U.S. government for more information about a federal program that tries to enlist Americans in helping to identify and discourage violent extremism in their communities.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University said it filed the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan to force the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to release records about their "Countering Violent Extremism" (CVE) program. Critics for years have questioned its effectiveness.

The Brennan Center said the program relies on a flawed approach to counter terrorism that "all but ensures" it will stigmatize Muslims and reinforce Islamophobic stereotypes, suppress dissent, and sow discord in communities.

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