Category Archives: Fusion Centers

Friday on AxXiom For Liberty Live! Miles Kinard, Author, American Stasi: Fusion Centers and Domestic Spying.

a4l 55

Kaye Beach

****Show Notes Posted Below*************

March, 21, 2013

This Friday on AxXiom For Liberty with Kaye Beach and Howard Houchen 6-8pm Central – Miles Kinard author of the magazine exposé, American Stasi: Fusion Centers and Domestic Spying.

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american stasi

“This is no longer just a ‘surveillance state.’  We are on the fast track to a police state.” -Miles Kinard, interview with the Spingola Files, Dec. 2012

We are very excited to introduce you to Miles Kinard, researcher and author of the magazine exposé, American Stasi: Fusion Centers and Domestic Spying.

What is a Fusion Center?

The principal role of the fusion center is to compile, analyze, and disseminate criminal/terrorist information and intelligence and other information (including, but not limited to, threat, public safety, law enforcement, public health, social services, and public works) to support efforts to anticipate, identify, prevent, and/or monitor criminal/terrorist activity.   http://www.scribd.com/doc/19251638/Fusion-Center-Guidelines-Law-Enforcement

I jumped on Mr. Kinard’s work on fusion centers last year when it was released and found his writing on the subject to be extremely lucid and his research, impeccable.  You can get it for a song and instant download at Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/American-Stasi-Centers-Domesitc-ebook/dp/B006YZQFL8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327104356&sr=8-1

Miles Kinard’s work explores these secretive 9/11 domestic intelligence units that are considered key by the Department of Homeland Security in its quest to know everything about everybody all the time.

There is at least one of these relatively new intelligence centers located in every state (74 78 total) and precious little attention has been given to them by the mainstream media.

Secrecy, the waste of taxpayer dollars and especially the potential civil liberties violations were highlighted by Kinard’s work.  All of this and more was subsequently confirmed by a two-year bipartisan investigation by the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations which released a 107 page report last October.

Tonight we will get a chance to talk to Miles about the state fusion centers as part of what he refers to as the “Surveillance Industrial Complex” in general and discuss the implications of these state-based (but federally controlled) spy centers that he identified in his exposé .

Join us – Your questions or comments are always welcome!

CALL IN LINE 512-646-1984

 *******************SHOW NOTES**************************

Events:

common core not ok

Restore Oklahoma Public Education (R.O.P.E.)

Common Core is NOT OK!” Events

  • Wed., March 27th:   Common Core is NOT OK! Rally State Capitol, 2nd floor rotunda (Supreme Court hallway), Noon  Click here for rally info.
  • Thurs., March 28th:  State Board of Education meeting Oliver Hodge Educ. Bldg., room I-20, 9:30 a.m., Meeting instructions.

“The Common Core State Standards present a takeover of public education by a small group of individuals. This takeover will change the way that teachers teach, parents interact with their schools due to loss of local control, and present students with a narrow range of studies and increased standardized testing. Oklahomans must maintain local control over public education, therefore, we reject the Common Core State Standards.”  Read More from ROPE

FERPA, Amendemnts

rosakoare

April 5 & 6, 2013, Tulsa 9.12 will host a symposium on “Understanding Agenda 21.” Rosa Koire, author of “Behind the Green Mask” and founding member of Democrats Against Agenda 21, will be one of our many speakers. If you would like to learn more about Agenda 21 and how it affects you, please plan on joining us.

Understanding Agenda 21 – A Symposium  (You can RSVP on Facebook but Registration must be received by April 1st  REGISTER HERE

Referenced:

Testimony of Jennifer Lynch,  Electronic Frontier Foundation(EFF), Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, July 18, 2012

What Facial Recognition Technology Means for Privacy and Civil Liberties 

The Militarization of U.S. Domestic Policing

 Abigail R. Hall and Christopher J. Coyne
Abstract
This paper develops the political economy of the militarization of domestic policing.
We analyze the mechanisms through which the “protective state”—where the government utilizes its monopoly on force to protect citizens’ rights—devolves into a “predatory state” which undermines the rights of the populace. We apply our theory to the U.S.,where we trace the(failed) historical attempts to establish constraints nto separate the military functions and policing functions of government.
In doing so we emphasize the role of crises in the form of perpetual wars—the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror”—in the accelerated militarization of domestic policing.

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Sen. Tom Coburn on Fusion Center Follies

Kaye Beach
Nov. 8, 2012
Sen. Tom Coburn is hoping that the Senate subcommittee report that he co-authored will spark fusion center reform.    Read the Report and share a copy to your state legislator too!
Nov. 6, 2012
By TOM COBURN

Since the 9/11 attacks, Congress and the White House have invested hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in support of dozens of state and local fusion centers across the United States. After a two-year Senate investigation identified problems with nearly every aspect of the Department of Homeland Security’s involvement with these centers — including irrelevant, untimely or useless intelligence reporting to DHS, among other widespread deficiencies — there is a clear need for reform.

Since 2003, more than 70 state and local fusion centers, supported in part with federal funds, have been created or expanded to strengthen U.S. intelligence capabilities and detect, disrupt and respond to domestic terrorist activities. DHS’ support for and involvement with these centers has centered on their professed ability to strengthen federal counterterrorism efforts. However, as the investigation found, there are significant factors hindering this initial intent to connect the dots in the sharing of terrorism-related information among state, local and federal officials.

 

Read More

Big Sis in Hot Water?

Kaye Beach

Oct. 4, 2012

The scathing US Senate report released early this week is 141 pages of fascinating reading but it could cause a real confidence crisis for those who still think that trading liberty for security is a decent bargain.

Besides the fact that the Dept. of Homeland Security doesn’t know exactly how much it has given to states and cities for the Fusion Centers or how that money was spent, the Secretary of DHS, Janet Napolitano dubbed “Big Sis” by Matt Drudge, also has trouble getting her facts straight.

Fusion Centers have been at the center of many, many civil liberty scandals since they were created and a wide swath of concerned or active Americans from right to left have found themselves lumped in with or labeled as “extremists” at some point or another by the dubious ‘intelligence’ that the spy centers produce.  I hope they are all enjoying the fact that the Centers and Big Sis herself, are getting a little, long overdue scrutiny but also hope that they take this report to their state legislators and demand that the “pools of ineptitude and civil liberties intrusions” in their states be examined just as closely.

Report: Napolitano misled Congress on terrorism ‘fusion’ centers

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano repeatedly misled lawmakers about one of her department’s signature initiatives, the development of special centers where state and local police could share information about terrorism and other crimes with their federal counterparts, a bipartisan report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations states.

Ms. Napolitano failed to report to Congress serious problems with the so-called “fusion center” program, according to the report. She insisted publicly that the program was a success, but two reports from her own department found, what congressman called, “serious problems” with the fusion centers.

“The findings of both the 2010 and 2011 assessments contradict public statements by [Homeland Security] officials” including congressional testimony from Ms. Napolitano, the report states.

Investigators also found that Ms. Napolitano and other officials repeatedly claimed there were 72 fusion centers around the country, when internal documents revealed that there were only 68.

DHS ‘fusion centers’ “pools of ineptitude, waste and civil liberties intrusions”

Kaye Beach

Oct. 3, 2012

Maybe the civil liberty violations alone weren’t enough to get the kind of attention on these hometown spy centers deserve but add to that the shocking lavish spending, waste and ineptitude. .  .well finally!

Thanks to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) Oklahoma’s own Senator Tom Coburn for their great work on this eye opening report on DHS’ Fusion Centers. (Read the report)

Close them down!

The Washington Post’s Robert O’Harrow reports;

Oct. 2, 2012An initiative aimed at improving intelligence sharing has done little to make the country more secure, despite as much as $1.4 billion in federal spending, according to a two-year examination by Senate investigators.The nationwide network of offices known as “fusion centers” was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to address concerns that local, state and federal authorities were not sharing information effectively about potential terrorist threats.But after nine years — and regular praise from officials at the Department of Homeland Security — the 77 fusion centers have become pools of ineptitude, waste and civil liberties intrusions, according to a scathing 141-page report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs permanent subcommittee on investigations.

Read More

Dept. of Homeland Security Releases 2012 Privacy Report

Kaye Beach

September 28, 2012

Th report touts small improvements but bigger problems are revealed.

EPIC the Electronic Privacy Information Center reports;

The Department of Homeland Security has released its 2012 Privacy
Office Annual Report to Congress. The report details the expansion of
the National Counterterrorism Center’s five-year retention policy for
records on US Persons, the agency’s social media-monitoring initiatives,
and privacy training for fusion centers personnel; however, it does not
discuss several new DHS-funded initiatives, including the Future
Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, a “Minority-Report”-like
proposal for “pre-crime” detection. Also, according to the report the
Transportation Security Administration has still failed to adopt
privacy safeguards for airport body scanners.

Two DHS Privacy Office investigations led to the finding of agency non-
compliance. One of those investigations involved DHS’s use of social
media monitoring. EPIC filed a FOIA request on DHS’ social media
monitoring program in April 2011, then filed suit against DHS in
December 2011 in order to force the disclosure of documents related
to the monitoring program, which searched for both suspicious
“keywords” and dissent against government programs. Earlier in 2012,
Congress held an oversight hearing on the DHS social media monitoring
program, and cited the documents obtained by EPIC.

While the report acknowledges agency shortcomings, it also touts DHS
privacy and transparency training as well public engagement through
speaker series, a redesigned FOIA site, and quarterly privacy advocacy
meetings. Significantly, the report fails to address the lack of timely
notice-and-comment rulemakings, particularly the TSA’s lack of
rulemaking on body scanners, ordered by a court in 2011 in response to
a suit brought by EPIC.

The report discusses DHS’ increased use of Privacy Compliance Reviews
(PCRs), which cover programs including cybersecurity, information
sharing, and the use of social media. The DHS Privacy Office used these
reviews to fail eight of its own agency programs for their lack of
privacy compliance documentation. None of the eight programs are
identified in the report, nor are any details of their lack of privacy
compliance.

The DHS Chief Privacy Office must present annual reports to Congress
and is also required by law to ensure that new agency programs do not
diminish privacy in the US.

DHS Privacy Office:  2012  Annual Report to Congress (Sept. 2012)
http://epic.org/redirect/092812-dhs-2012-privacy-report.html

EPIC:  DHS Privacy Office
http://epic.org/privacy/dhs-cpo.html

EPIC:  Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST)
http://epic.org/privacy/fastproject/

EPIC:  Fusion Centers
http://epic.org/privacy/fusion/

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Social Media Monitoring)
http://epic.org/foia/epic-v-dhs-media-monitoring/

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program)
http://epic.org/redirect/092812-epicvdhs-scannersuspend.html

 

Volume 19.18                                       September 28, 2012
———————————————————————–

Published by the
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Washington, D.C.

http://www.epic.org/alert/epic_alert_19.18.html

“Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.”
http://epic.org/donate

A First! Florida Intelligence Officer Admits Investigating People in Public using Facial Recognition

Kaye Beach

September 17, 2012

This is the first public admission, to my knowledge, by law enforcement that confirms that they are doing exactly what myself and others have been warning about-using facial recognition on people in public.

Just a few days ago I updated readers on Oklahoma’s steady progress toward compliance with the federal Real ID Act in spite of the fact that implementation of that act is prohibited by law in our state.

The most egregious part of the Real ID Act is the capture and retention of our facial biometrics.   As I explained;

. . .facial biometrics is the governments biometric of choice.  Why?  It is not the most accurate biometric for identification purposes but it does allow us to be identified in public without our knowledge or consent. link

An intelligence officer from the St. Petersburg Police Dept. just let the cat completely put of the bag!

Here is a snippet of an explosive article just reported by the ACLU :

Police in Tampa used smartphones and tablets to spy on protesters at the Republican National Convention, according to a report today from the National Journal.

Smartphones have proven to be an excellent tool for empowering individuals faced with sometimes unprofessional or abusive law enforcement officers, thanks to their built-in cameras and the constitutional right to record the police. But they also allow the police, according to the article, to blend in and transmit live video of protesters:

“The specialized applications gave law enforcement an advantage, allowing police officers to use everyday devices in a strategic and tactical way,” said Sgt. Dale Moushon, with the Intelligence Unit of the St. Petersburg Police Department….

While undercover police in most protests are often easily identified by their earpieces or microphones in their sleeves, Moushon told National Journal that using cell phones allowed police to remain completely undetected. “Everyone has a phone, so officers blend in easier,” he said….

He also pointed to an instance in which an officer was preparing to take a picture of a suspicious person so staff could use facial-recognition software to identify the person. Instead, the person happened to pull out a document that included his identifying information that was then captured in real-time by the officer’s live video feed. “That saved us a lot of time,” Moushon said.

We shouldn’t just accept that undercover police will infiltrate peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, photograph them, and use face recognition or other techniques to identity them. We must not come to accept the existence of a secret police in our society.

. . . Mike German, who infiltrated numerous criminal groups as an undercover FBI operative, notes that there should be reasonable suspicion—an articulable basis in fact—that a crime has or will be committed before the police begin an investigation

Read More

This is an outrage!  Lawful dissent is supposed to be afforded the highest degree of First Amendment protection.  If you value  your right to chastise your wayward government without being investigated, harassed and intimidated-you should be very concerned about this development.

This is not just a matter of the local police.  Remember, Florida received 50 million dollars from the federal government to set up this system. They are connected with a variety of other intelligence centers including the Florida Fusion Center directly linking with federal agencies.

CTIC maintains an operational relationship with other state law enforcement agencies, as well as the FBI and DHS. The role of CTIC continues to evolve as their participation in the Florida Fusion Center grows. Recently, CTIC began providing information for Department of Homeland Security Information Reports that are disseminated not only to other law enforcement elements, but to members of the United States Intelligence Community as well. Link

The absolute necessity of my lawsuit could not be any more apparent than it is right now.  If you are having difficulty in understanding the implications of this admission I suggest you simply mentally replace the RNC protestor with any unpopular group member you like; perhaps yourself.

Are We being Tracked by ALPR Spy Cams? 38 State Law Enforcement Agencies to be Queried

Kaye Beach

July 30, 2012

It has recently been announced that 38 states (including Oklahoma) have joined with the ACLU of Maryland to find out how the information collected by ALPR camera license plate data is being handled.  This is very good news! (Click the map to find out state specifics)

Automatic License Plate Readers

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland joined with ACLU affiliates in 38 states to send requests to local police departments and state agencies to seek information on how they use automatic license plate readers to track and record Americans’ movements.  Here in Maryland, the state has reported that there are more than 320 ALPRs being used and many are linked to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, Maryland’s “fusion center,” where the data is potentially stored indefinitely, creating an ever-growing database of our location and travel through the state.

ALPRs are cameras that cam be mounted on vehicles such as police patrol cars or in fixed locations like light poles. These cameras snap photographs of license plates and store the image along with the vehicle’s registration data plus the time date and location of every vehicle captured. The devices have the potential to track all vehicles even those who are registered to owners who have broken no law at all.  Without appropriate restrictions, the police can collect, share and retain the data indefinitely which enables our movements to be tracked and monitored, a concern I raised recently with the announcement that Shawnee police were using the devices and touting their potential to be used for investigative purposes.

“For investigating, it will be phenomenal,” Frantz said. Link

Read more;

Are Oklahoma Cops Using Spy Cams to Become Super Snoopers?

073012 Press Release: ACLU Seeks Details on Automatic License Plate Readers in Massive Nationwide Request; Information Sought on How Cameras are Used by Police Agencies and How Data is Stored

Are Oklahoma Cops Using Spy Cams to Become Super Snoopers?

Kaye Beach

June 16, 2012

Two police agencies (to my knowledge) in Oklahoma are now using Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR).  The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department and the Shawnee Police Department.

LINK

These cameras snap photographs of license plates and store the image along with the vehicle’s registration data plus the time date and location of every vehicle captured. ALPR can be mounted on police vehicles or in a fixed location and they can capture thousands of license plates per hour.

Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz is very excited about his new surveillance technology for the same reason Oklahomans should be concerned.

“For investigating, it will be phenomenal,” Frantz said. Link

ALPR is great for spotting stolen vehicles or wanted criminals but they also capture the information of completely innocent drivers.  If the information captured on non-offending drivers was immediately discarded then the concern would not be so great but that is not what is happening.  Without proper rules in place, this potentially valuable tool becomes nothing less than a nationwide tracking system.

As I have written about recently, the information is being used by a private company, Vigilant Video, to build an enormous database, the National Vehicle Location Service (NLVS).   As a private corporation Vigilant Video is not bound to any privacy requirements which (somewhat) restrain governmental entities and yet police departments nationwide are both supplying and utilizing the NLVS database.

You can watch Vigilant Video’s ticker that reveals how many records have been consumed by their national database here.  At the moment of this writing the count was 669, 699,058.

If you follow the link to view the ticker, be sure to look at the other products this company is offering.

Line Up” certainly caught my attention.

LineUp collects face images, detection times and “entire human” (full body) images — then catalogs all human face events into a centralized database. Using the LineUp Event Search, you can enter a suspect image into the system — and instantly search through a time-based history of every possible match.

This isn’t an issue of lack of privacy in public. We cannot stop ourselves from being viewed or photographed once we enter the public sphere. ALPR collecting, storing and sharing of this data is more properly understood to be much more than a simple sighting in public-it’s an investigation. (More on that aspect here)

The Electronic Police State

An electronic police state is characterized by state use of electronic technologies to record, organize, search and distribute forensic evidence against its citizens.

The information gathered under an electronic police state is criminal evidence, ready for use in a trial. It is gathered universally (“preventively”) and only later organized for use in prosecutions.

In an Electronic Police State, every surveillance camera recording, every email sent, every Internet site surfed, every post made, every check written, every credit card swipe, every cell phone ping…are all criminal evidence, and all are held in searchable databases. The individual can be prosecuted whenever the government wishes.

Link

I consider it to be an assault on my autonomy as a free, independent and law abiding citizen to be entered into a tracking database.   It may surprise you to know that although I am a law abiding person, I still have plenty I would like to hide from the government.  I don’t want them to know where I go to church, who I associate with, what political events I attend or where I get my nails done.  Even though I am not doing anything wrong-they are- and it is none of their damn business! 

Lots of people have plenty to hide that is still no business whatsoever of the police or any of their cronies that they might be persuaded to share this info with.   If you happen to go to AA, have a sweetie on the side or are a politician (hello!)-you should be especially concerned and more than a little creeped out.

The only reason to track and monitor anything is for control so what does that tell you about the collection of this type of information on all of us?

I suggest that residents of Shawnee and Oklahoma County contact their Police Chief or Sheriff and ask a few questions about how this data is being used.

You have a right to receive from your chief law enforcement official;

  • A copy of their data policy and privacy policy governing ALPR’s
  • Any documents showing how the collected plate data is stored, shared and/or deleted
  • Any auditing requirements the department has to ensure appropriate data privacy, and to discover and punish any abuse of the system.

You should be able to get this information by simply requesting it.  I say “should.” It may not be that simple in which case you will want to structure your request to include reminders of Oklahoma’s Open Records Act.  Fortunately, there is an easy way to do this.  Use a template!

Oklahoma Open Records request template

http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/requestletter.htm

About OK Open Records Act

http://andylester.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=3Yx2gpCgJBM%3D&tabid=81

Autonomy  is “The desire to avoid being manipulated or dominated wholly by others.

… Loss of autonomy means loss of our capacity to control our own  life

It also would be a good idea for anyone who is concerned about their privacy or autonomy to contact their local police or sheriff’s department and ask if they have or are considering using ALPR and let them know that you will cause a ruckus if they use this technology inappropriately.

Data should not be retained or shared on innocent motorists!

Department Of Homeland Security Announces “If You See Something, Say Something™” Partnership With The City Of Charlotte

Kaye Beach,

The Department of Homeland Security continues to expand it “See Something, Say Something” campaign into every imaginable sector of society.  “See Something, Say Something” is a DHS program designed to encourage ordinary people to report anything they believe to be unusual to the authorities.

Those reports then become a SAR-Suspicious Activity Report, many of which are forwarded on to the FBI to be held in their eGaurdian database for a number of years collecting additional bits of information on the individual.

Think something like this might have a chilling effect on free speech or political participation? Certianly.  That is exactly what such a program is designed for; to keep you fearful and in your place.

“I started to read these files about all the victims in just one region of Germany that the Gestapo had processed,” Gellately says. “It would have taken a large force of secret police to collect information on so many people. I needed to know just how many secret police there really were. So I asked an elderly gentleman who would’ve lived through those times, and he replied, ‘They were everywhere!’”

That was the prevailing myth.

“But I had evidence right there in my hands that supported a different story,” Gellately explains. “There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors.” -Robert Gellately, Earl Ray Beck Professor, Department of History

05/21/2012 07:00 AM EDT

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign to the city of Charlotte, N.C. Earlier today, DHS Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs Betsy Markey joined Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and officials from the Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to announce the partnership between DHS and the city of Charlotte.

“If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign materials will be visible throughout Charlotte – in the Charlotte Area Transit System, in public buildings, on the city website and at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In addition, a 30-second “If You See Something, Say Something™” Public Service Announcement will be broadcast on the local Charlotte government access television station.

DHS also separately announced the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign partnership with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. The partnership will begin in eight different metropolitan areas including Baltimore, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Orlando, St. Paul, Southwest Florida, and Washington, D.C. with plans to expand to other cities in the future.

The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign – originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and now licensed to DHS for a nationwide campaign – is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

The Department launched the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative – an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism and terrorism-related crime; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and ensure the sharing of those reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces for further investigation.

Recent expansions of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign include partnerships with numerous sports teams and leagues, transportation agencies, private sector partners, states, municipalities, and colleges and universities. DHS also has Public Service Announcements which have been distributed to television and radio stations across the country.

DHS will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign nationally to ensure America’s businesses, communities, and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the country safe.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

###

FBI Cuts Off Info Sharing to State Fusion Centers-No explanation offered

Kaye Beach

April 19, 2012

This is very intriguing news.

Read the article from PJ Media;

BREAKING: Without Warning, FBI Halts Intel Sharing Update

On March 1, the FBI stopped sharing vital terror intel with state and local officials without explanation.