Tag 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.

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

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

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.

High Tech Gizmos and Gadgetry Yet No Increase in Clearance Rates for Major Crimes

Kaye Beach

April 13, 2012

Interesting article from Steven Spingola, former Milwaukee homicide detective.

Old School Sleuths Weigh-In on Most Current Crop of Detectives

March 31, 2012

. . .Without a doubt, today’s investigators are armed with a wide range of technologies that, just 15-year-ago, were fodder for science fiction novels. Within a matter of minutes, operatives at federally subsidized ‘intelligence fusion’ centers can create a dossier on 98 percent of adult Americans, track the movements of those with cellular devices in real time, use infrared cameras to literally unmask hold-up men, and identify individuals captured on CCTV cameras through facial recognition software. These cameras are literally everywhere—mounted at the top of traffic control poles at busy intersections, on the roof tops of buildings, and inside of many private sector businesses. Advances in DNA technology enable law enforcement to easily include or exclude potential suspects from complicated crime scenes.

Author Miles Kinard profiles a vast array of new law enforcement technologies in his recently released magazine exposé, American Stasi: Fusion Centers and Domestic Spying.

http://www.amazon.com/American-Stasi-Centers-Domesitc-ebook/dp/B006YZQFL8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333205606&sr=8-1

Yet many old school cops argue that these technological advances have done little to increase clearance rates for major crimes.

For example, consider the homicide clearance rate in Milwaukee County.  From 1990 – 1999, prior to the significant advances in DNA testing and the construction of post-9/11 intelligence fusion centers, 84 percent of Milwaukee County homicides were counted as cleared.  However, from 2000 – 2008, Milwaukee County’s homicide clearance rate fell to 72 percent, even as the average number of homicides declined almost 22 percent. [1]

In Dane County, which typically averages fewer than ten homicides a year, the clearance rate from 2000 – 2008 was down four percent from where it was from 1980 – 1999, even though the number of sworn law enforcement officers has significantly increased.[2]

Read more

Photography is Suspicious Activity

Kaye Beach
Jan 20, 2012

The police tell a photographer;

“You know, I’ll just submit your name to TLO (the Terrorism Liaison Officer program). Every time your driver’s license gets scanned, every time you take a plane, any time you go on any type of public transit system where they look at your identification, you’re going to be stopped. You will be detained. You’ll be searched. You will be on the FBI’s hit list.”

If we allow the national security state to continue to grow, this threat, spoken or unspoken, will come to determine many of our actions in life.

A snapshot of our times

By , Published: January 18

LOS ANGELESShawn Nee, 35, works in television but hopes to publish a book of photographs. Shane Quentin, 31, repairs bicycles but enjoys photographing industrial scenes at night. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department probably wishes that both would find other hobbies. Herewith a story of today’s inevitable friction between people exercising, and others protecting, freedom.

When the Los Angeles Police Department developed a Suspicious Activity Report program, the federal government encouraged local law enforcement agencies to adopt its guidelines for gathering information “that could indicate activity or intentions related to” terrorism. From the fact that terrorists might take pictures of potential infrastructure targets (“pre-operational surveillance”), it is a short slide down a slippery slope to the judgment that photography is a potential indicator of terrorism and hence photographers are suspect when taking pictures “with no apparent aesthetic value” (words from the suspicious-activity guidelines).

One reason law enforcement is such a demanding, and admirable, profession is that it requires constant exercises of good judgment in the application of general rules to ambiguous situations. Such judgment is not evenly distributed among America’s 800,000 law enforcement officials and was lacking among the sheriff’s deputies who saw Nee photographing controversial new subway turnstiles. (Subway officials, sadder but wiser about our fallen world, installed turnstiles after operating largely on an honor system regarding ticket purchases.) Deputies detained and searched Nee, asking if he was planning to sell the photos to al-Qaeda. Nee was wearing, in plain view, a device police sometimes use to make video and audio records of interactions with people, and when he told a deputy he was going to exercise his right to remain silent, the deputy said:

“You know, I’ll just submit your name to TLO (the Terrorism Liaison Officer program). Every time your driver’s license gets scanned, every time you take a plane, any time you go on any type of public transit system where they look at your identification, you’re going to be stopped. You will be detained. You’ll be searched. You will be on the FBI’s hit list.”

Read more

 

Who Owns the Fusion Centers?

Kaye Beach

Jan 15, 2012

Part II

This is Part II of my ongoing dissertation on Fusion Centers and the work they do.  You can read Part I, Intelligence Led Policing and Fusion Centers: How the IACP Helped the USA to Cross the Rubicon, which dealt with the flawed and dangerous philosophy of preemptive or Intelligence Led Policing that makes the whole domestic terrorism apparatus, including fusion centers such a threat to the liberties of everyone.

In Part II I am going to explain what the centers really do and who is in control of them and how.

Fusion Centers-State of Federal?

It is all about collecting the data and getting it to the federal government.  The most important function of Fusions Centers is also the most invisible portion of their work; the computer networks and information sharing that takes place through those networks.

Despite claims that the Fusion Centers were created by the states, the truth is that the modern day fusion centers were born of policy established at the federal level and they are largely funded, staffed and  trained by representatives of federal agencies.  The federal government likes to claim that the states are partners with the federal government in this and other programs like it.

Question: If I set the rules and I pay the bills and I own the house that you are currently residing in, are you really my partner?

Answer: only to the degree that I am willing to pretend that you are.

When it comes to state fusion centers, the federal government has been paying the bills, they set the rules and they own the house.

Paying the Bills-Federal Funding

Since 2003 the Department of Homeland Security has given $31 billion dollars to the state and local governments.

3.8 billion was given to the states in 2010 alone.  The programs funded by the DHS, largely focus on countering terrorism but also on natural and man-made disasters are required to be tuned to DHS dictates.  According to the Government Accountability Office, Fusion centers have been received $426 million in general grant funding from fiscal 2004 through fiscal 2009.  Stating the obvious about money and control, “You take the king’s shilling, you become the king’s man”—Tom Cole

This  news article published Nov 27, 2011, Oklahoma’s fusion center has a broad role these daysmakes who is paying the bills pretty clear.

Oklahoma’s federally funded information fusion center has a broader role today than it did when it began operations four years ago.

. . .Oklahoma’s fusion center is housed inside the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation‘s headquarters, 6600 N Harvey Place, and includes a secured room where secret information from the federal government is received.
. . .A central office includes a small room filled with monitors and TV screens, relaying data to an analyst. Its operations are funded, for the most part, by grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Stenhouse said the federal agency provided Oklahoma’s fusion center with about $400,000, which he said was used to pay the salaries of four analysts and training purposes. (All emphasis mine) Read more: http://newsok.com/oklahomas-fusion-center-has-a-broad-role-these-days./article/3626735#ixzz1i4z2ZOBQ

Oklahoma has received hundreds of millions of dollars in Homeland Security funds since 911 and the state understands who is in charge even if the officials choose to dance around the truth with the public.

The following is from the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center’s “Privacy Policy.”  It is clearly stated that the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security oversees the initiatives and mandates of the federal Department of Homeland Security-including our state’s fusion center.

OKOHS (Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security) is directed to continue their efforts in combating terrorism, and shall continue to oversee the implementation of any and all initiatives or efforts mandated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, including the development of a state information fusion center. (Emphasis mine)Read more

 

Federal Personnel Staff state fusion centers-.  According to the Government Accountability Office Report, as of July 2010, the DHS has deployed 58 personnel to fusion centers, and the FBI has deployed 74 personnel to fusion centers.

Setting the Rules

In 2008 we learned that the federal government has no qualms about yanking those strings attached hard and that includes subverting state law intended to protect the citizens of that state in the process.  The Fusion Centers have a job to do and that job requires some changes to be made to pesky state laws meant to provide residents with openness to,  and oversight of,  their government.

EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg said, “the FBI memorandum indicates that the federal government is attempting to shroud the Virginia Fusion Center in secrecy and prevent meaningful public oversight. Virginia citizens deserve an open and transparent state government that is not constrained by federal secrecy policies.”

http://epic.org/press/041108.html

Through the litigation, EPIC uncovered a secret contract between the State Police and the FBI that limits the rights of Virginia citizens to learn what information the State Police collect about them.

http://epic.org/privacy/virginia_fusion/


Fusion centers may be physically located in the states but their guts belong to Homeland Security! 

If you think of Fusion Centers as a place you will miss what the centers are really about.  Fusion Centers are part of a domestic intelligence system and the guts of the fusion centers are the data networks.

The federal government (guided all the way by the International Association of Chiefs of Police) defined the fusion centers and their processed from the start. They drew up the map.

“The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, developed by Global in partnership with the IACP, is the first of its kind in this country — and promises to bring us closer to achieving the goal, expressed at your 2002 Summit, of “intelligence-led policing.” . . . it serves as a “roadmap” for our national criminal intelligence sharing initiatives.” –THE HONORABLE DEBORAH J. DANIELS

The question of whether or not these institutions are state or federal entities is a moot point.  Though they physically reside in the states, the federal government aside from defining, funding and staffing the centers, also controls the data networks and they set the standards for how data is collected and shared.

Federal standards equal federal control

Standards are important if you want to:

  • SHARE DATA (speak the same language)

Standards Provide

  • On-demand real time data access

 Navigating the Standards Landscape

A Nationwide Network

You know what is worse for you privacy ant autonomy that a central database?  A distributed network of databases that are constantly updated that the central government can reach into at will.

The DHS intelligence analysis center or the DCI’s counterterrorist center do not need to accumulate and hold all relevant databases to which they may gain access. In other words, there is no need to build one big data warehouse. Instead, the centers should interface with such databases as needed.

—Markle Foundation Task Force Report 2002

Owning the House

In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and Global jointly published a supplement to the Fusion Center Guidelines called Baseline Capabilities Baseline Capabilities defines the capabilities needed to create a nationwide network of fusion centers and sets forth the minimum standards for a fusion center to be able to perform basic functions. 

The Department of Homeland Security set out an objective to create a network of fusions centers as a unique law enforcement and threat information resource that works across jurisdictions and is supported by multidisciplinary teams dispersed throughout a national network of information hives. Source EPIC

“. . .Fusion Centers will be the centerpiece of state, local, federal intelligence-sharing for the future and that the Department of Homeland Security will be working and aiming its programs to underlie Fusion Centers.” –DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano March 13, 2009

http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/speeches/sp_1236975404263.shtm


Jurisdiction

The Fusion Center Guidelines states that, “nontraditional collectors of intelligence, such as public safety entities and private sector organizations” will be “fused’ with law enforcement data”   The goal is to break down traditional barriers to information sharing. 

These barriers are commonly referred to as “siloes” or “stovepipes”

Those “silos” or barriers can also be thought of as jurisdictions.

From the Legal Information Institute;

Jurisdiction-The term jurisdiction is really synonymous with the word “power” Jurisdiction is the territory within which a court or government agency may properly exercise its power

It is not difficult to understand that when the the lines of authority are blended power will default to the higher level.

Agency protectiveness over jurisdiction and it is the authority an entity has over that jurisdiction that is the real barrier.  Simply stated, the problem with integrating data systems is not a physical or technical one; it’s political. Until recently, the barrier was both political and technological.  Now that the technological barrier has been removed, some think that the political barrier should follow suit.  But just because something is possible does it mean we should do it?

“National employment databases, national medical databases, national criminal databases, and others have already been created.

The dream is to blend all these separate resources into a single centralized one…the only real impediments to creating the database that now remain are political and cultural: the stubborn assumption of so many Americans that they have rights.”

The State’s Quest for Total Information Awareness by David M. Brown

In the past, the technological or physical barrier acted as sort of a firewall to siloes of data.  Data was shared on a legal right and need to know basis and  the entity wanting it had to ask.  While technology makes it possible to share lots of information in an instant with anyone in the world, there are still plenty of good reasons to protect sensitive  information.

If you really, really want to settle this whole argument about whether or not fusion centers are state of federal, just read about Homeland Security’s Federal Fusion Center initiative.

In 2010 The Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to;

“collect, plan, coordinate, report, analyze, and fuse infrastructure information related to all-threats and all-hazards, law enforcement activities, intelligence activities, man-made disasters and acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other information collected or received from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and organizations; foreign governments and international organizations; domestic security and emergency management officials; and private sector entities or individuals into the Department.”

The DHS is creating a federal fusion center by ‘fusing’ information from the   centers.  DHS is laying claim to all of that data to use as they see fit.

The Department of Homeland Security has repeatedly stated that Fusion Centers were  owned by the states, the creation of this new system of records action totally negates that dubious claim.   They didn’t ask anyone’s permission.  Why?  Because they paid the bills, they set the rules and they own the house.  The states are a  “partner” up until the federal government decided they weren’t.

Fusion Centers, for all practical intents and purposes, belongs to none other than Big Momma Gov. and if anyone tells you different,  grab a pitcher because their pants are on fire!


2011 Growing the Surveillance State

Kaye Beach

Jan 5 2012

This excellent article covers some of the most disturbing developments over the last year that impact our civil liberties,  GPS tracking, drones, the TSA’s antics and more.  I selected just a few sections that I think are particularly important  You can read the entire article, 2011: A Civil Liberties Year in Review, by John Whitehead  here

 

More powers for the FBI. As detailed in the FBI’s operations manual, rules were relaxed in order to permit the agency’s 14,000 agents to search law enforcement and private databases, go through household trash, and deploy surveillance teams, with even fewer checks against abuse. FBI agents were also given the go-ahead to investigate individuals using highly intrusive monitoring techniques, including infiltrating suspect organizations with confidential informants and photographing and tailing suspect individuals, without having any factual basis for suspecting them of wrongdoing. These new powers extend the agency’s reach into the lives of average Americans and effectively transform the citizenry into a nation of suspects, reversing the burden of proof so that we are now all guilty until proven innocent. Thus, no longer do agents need evidence of possible criminal or terrorist activity in order to launch an investigation. Now, they can “proactively” look into people and groups, searching databases without making a record about it, conducting lie detector tests and searching people’s trash.

Patriot Act redux. Congress pushed through a four-year extension of three controversial provisions in the USA Patriot Act that authorize the government to use aggressive surveillance tactics in the so-called war against terror. Since being enacted in 2001, the Patriot Act has driven a stake through the heart of the Bill of Rights, violating at least six of the ten original amendments – the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments – and possibly the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well. The Patriot Act has also redefined terrorism so broadly that many non-terrorist political activities such as protest marches, demonstrations and civil disobedience are considered potential terrorist acts, thereby rendering anyone desiring to engage in protected First Amendment expressive activities as suspects of the surveillance state.

Terrorism Liaison Officers. In another attempt to control and intimidate the population, the government has introduced Terrorism Liaison Officers (TLOs) into our midst. TLOs are firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees who have received training to spy on and report back to government entities on the day-to-day activities of their fellow citizens. These individuals are authorized to report “suspicious activity” which can include such innocuous activities as taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs, and buying items in bulk. With the Director of National Intelligence now pushing for a nationwide program, you may soon see these government-corporate agents in a town near you.

Fusion centers. TLOs report back to so-called “fusion centers” – data collecting agencies spread throughout the country, aided by the National Security Agency – which constantly monitor our communications, everything from our internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails. This data is then fed to government agencies, which are now interconnected – the CIA to the FBI, the FBI to local police – a relationship which will make a transition to martial law that much easier. As of 2009, the government admitted to having at least 72 fusion centers. A map released by the ACLU indicates that every state except Idaho has a fusion center in operation or formation.

Read more