The FBI has halted its advertisement in Vietnamese-language newspapers that had drawn criticism from civil libertarians for asking emigres to report to the agency anyone they believed might be a spy for Hanoi, regardless of whether they had evidence.
George Grotz, a spokesman for the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the ad has run its course after a two-month contract with the Westminster-based Nguoi Viet Daily and another newspaper in Houston. The FBI never intended to run the ads beyond two months, so the contracts were not renewed, Grotz said.
More than 200 people of Vietnamese descent responded to the advertisement, FBI officials said, which appealed to newly arriving emigres to help "the government of the United States and Vietnamese exiled compatriots . . . destroy the activities, threat and intimidation . . . of the underground Communist spies."
The FBI says Vietnam is among nations that have stepped up industrial spying.
Grotz said the agency will now "evaluate the information that we have received in a very thorough manner and determine the credibility of the information . . . and where warranted, further investigation will be conducted."
The FBI said it has no plans to resume the advertisement, which civil libertarians criticized as McCarthyism.