Fusion Centers Continued

From Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_centers#MIAC_Report

A fusion center is a terrorism prevention and response center, many of which were created under a joint project between the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs between 2003 and 2007.

The fusion centers gather information not only from government sources, but also from their partners in the private sector.

They are designed to promote information sharing at the federal level between agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice, US Military and state and local level government. As of July 2009, the Department of Homeland Security recognized at least seventy-two fusion centers.  Fusion centers may also be affiliated with an Emergency Operations Center that responds in the event of a disaster.

State and local police departments provide both space and resources for the majority of fusion centers. The analysts working there can be drawn from DHS, local police, or the private sector. A number of fusion centers operate tip hotlines and also invite relevant information from public employees, such as sanitation workers or firefighters.

Criticism

There are a number of documented criticisms of fusion centers, including relative ineffectiveness at counterterrorism activities, the potential to be used for secondary purposes unrelated to counterterrorism, and their links to violations of civil liberties of American citizens and others.

David Rittgers of the Cato Institute has noted

a long line of fusion center and DHS reports labeling broad swaths of the public as a threat to national security. The North Texas Fusion System labeled Muslim lobbyists as a potential threat; a DHS analyst in Wisconsin thought both pro- and anti-abortion activists were worrisome; a Pennsylvania homeland security contractor watched environmental activists, Tea Party groups, and a Second Amendment rally; the Maryland State Police put anti-death penalty and anti-war activists in a federal terrorism database; a fusion center in Missouri thought that all third-party voters and Ron Paul supporters were a threat; and the Department of Homeland Security described half of the American political spectrum as “right wing extremists.”

MIAC Report

Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) made news in 2009 for targeting supporters of third party candidates (such as Ron Paul), pro-life activists, and conspiracy theorists as potential militia members.  Anti-war activists and Islamic lobby groups were targeted in Texas, drawing criticism from the ACLU.

According to the Department of Homeland Security:

[T]he Privacy Office has identified a number of risks to privacy presented by the fusion center program:
 

  1. Justification for fusion centers
  2. Ambiguous Lines of Authority, Rules, and Oversight
  3. Participation of the Military and the Private Sector
  4. Data Mining
  5. Excessive Secrecy
  6. Inaccurate or Incomplete Information
  7. Mission Creep
2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment

In early April 2009, the Virginia Fusion Center came under criticism for publishing a terrorism threat assessment which stated that certain universities are potential hubs for terror related activity. The report targeted historically black colleges and identified hacktivism as a form of terrorism.

See also
References
  1. ^ Monahan, T. 2009. The Murky World of 'Fusion Centres'. Criminal Justice Matters 75 (1): 20-21.
  2. ^ http://www.securitymanagement.com/article/smashing-intelligence-stovepipes?page=0%2C1
  3. ^ Report on Fusion Centers July 29, 2009 Democracy Now
  4. ^ Monahan, T. and Palmer, N.A. 2009. The Emerging Politics of DHS Fusion Centers. Security Dialogue 40 (6): 617-636.
  5. ^ Monahan, T. and Palmer, N.A. 2009. The Emerging Politics of DHS Fusion Centers. Security Dialogue 40 (6): 617-636.
  6. ^ Rittgers, David (2011-02-02) We're All Terrorists Now, Cato Institute
  7. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/
  8. ^ http://www.securitymanagement.com/news/fusion-centers-under-fire-texas-and-new-mexico-005314
  9. ^ Privacy Impact Assessment for the Department of Homeland Security State, Local, and Regional Fusion Center Initiative December 11, 2008 [1]
  10. ^ http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Virginia_terror_assessment_targets_enormous_crosssection_0406.html
  11. ^ http://rawstory.com/images/other/vafusioncenterterrorassessment.pdf
External links

04.11.2011. 13:09

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