Tag Archives: OIFC

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!


OK-SAFE was right – the government is Monitoring America

*Please Note-This is NOT a genuine OIFC Notice. If the OIFC files a suspicious activity report on you-You would never know it! Only convicts are allowed to see the records that are kept on them according to the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center*

Kaye Beach

Dec. 21, 2010

The Washington Post’s in depth  investigation on “Top Secret America” and especially the latest installment “Monitoring America” has brought many of us who have been anxiously and  painstakingly documenting the rise of the surveillance state in our country over the last several years, a strange sense of relief.

Only a little over year ago concerned Oklahoman residents were raising the alarm over legislation to allow the DPS commissioner to grant direct electronic access to our biometric data and other personal information to law enforcement or other state entities.  Examples

The problem?

The “New Paradigm” and its offspring, including state fusion centers.

“Fusion Centers are federally funded and the very purpose for their existence, as evidenced by the documents that describe the core concept of Fusion Centers, is to promote “seamless “information sharing across the board.”

Now that the major media has called it,  I am hoping that the people and their state government will face the facts and get to work putting this genie back into its bottle.

OK-SAFE deserves a big “Thank You” for leading and continuing to lead the charge on this and other important issues.

Let me be the first to say- Thank you OK-SAFE!

___

OK-SAFE writes;

OK-SAFE was right – the government is Monitoring America

The case OK-SAFE has been building and advancing for three years has finally made it to the mainstream media – the government is monitoring the American people.

State and Federal Representatives have steadfastly scoffed at the idea.

A Washington Post article entitled Monitoring America offers a window into the deceptive nature of our government. 

Excerpt:

“Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.

The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation’s history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The government’s goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States.”

Although the move toward integration of the entire justice system started years ago,  fusion centers - doing away with barriers to information-sharing between the federal, state, local, and tribal levels – are  greasing the wheels.  More than 72 of the data-hubs exist in the U.S. and countless others are in operation globally.  And they’re networked together.

Included in this global data collection network is SARS (Suspicious Activity Reporting System); the Eyes and Ears programs; and the “If You See Something, Say Something” effort advocated by the DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

On the state level, one incident reporting (think snitch) system includes Oklahoma’s SIBRS, the Statewide Incident Based Reporting System, the state’s version of NIBRS (National Incident-Based Reporting System.)

State incidents – both criminal and non-criminal – are instantly shared with the FBI, upon request.

Associations advancing the global integration of justice systems, law enforcement, and the private sector include the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police), IALEIA (International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts), and InfraGard, (partnership between the FBI and the private sector).

Read More

Hats Off to Jesse Ventura-Fusion Centers Exposed!

Oklahoma Information Fusion Center Power Point

Americans need to know about these new UN-American institutions.

Much appreciation to the Governor and his show for diving into the Fusion Centers!

Skeptical?  See the documents for yourself.

Operation DeFuse

These are the questions to ask about fusion centers

Cop impersonator from Germany arrested in OKC, charged with two felonies

This odd story today reminded me of the many references to a program with OK law enforcement called STAR.(see below)  It is like an exchange program between Oklahoma police and Germany where they show each other how law enforcement works in their respective countries.  As I recall the program was quite an intensive exchange with German officers staying an extended amount of time in Oklahoma.  It also reminded me of the Memorandum of Understanding (an informal written agreement) uncovered last session when investigating our Fusion Center,  between DPS and Germany pertaining to Driver’s Licenses. (see below)

Red Dirt Reporter:

Cop impersonator from Germany arrested in OKC, charged with two felonies

By // Andrew W. Griffin – February 2, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY – A German national is currently in the Oklahoma County Jail held on two state felony counts after allegedly fooling an Oklahoma City Police Department captain into believing he was a member of the German federal police.

According to Oklahoma City P.D. Capt. Patrick Stewart, Maziar Golchehr, 27, of Cologne, Germany was arrested on Jan. 27 on felony charges, including possession of a sawed-off rifle and a charge of wearing body armor in the commission of a felony.

The impersonator, according to Stewart, came to Oklahoma City in March 2009 and befriended a captain on the Oklahoma City Police Department .

“He said he was an ex-German police officer and a current federal law officer back in Germany and was here on a visa,” Stewart told Red Dirt Report. “He came to the States seeking employment and the captain agreed to let him stay at his residence.”

Read More;

http://www.reddirtreport.com/news.php?id=14183

The STAR  Brochure

The memorandum;

Aug 25, 09 Oklahoma Information Fusion Center Tour

I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center along with about 15 or so other interested people on Tuesday evening. Director of OSBI, Dewade Langley along with about 6 other OSBI agents/employees generously stayed after hours to give a an informational presentation and tour of the center.

We met at 5pm and were taken upstairs to a classroom and given a packet of information including the OIFC’s Privacy Policy dated AUG 6th, Director Langley told us that Oklahoma was one of the first of these centers that had finished their policy and completed the gauntlet of approval to make it official. It is not yet on the Fusion Center website but will be soon, he promised.

OIFC is proud of their efforts to flesh out their privacy guidelines that began with only several pages.

While I am happy to know that the officials worked so hard and gave the policy a lot of thought, OIFC like every other Fusion Center that I am aware of, created the fusion centers first and the privacy policies last. That seems to be a backwards way of handling the creation of a new intelligence center with a mission larger in scope that any we have seen before

“Leaders must move forward with a new paradigm on the exchange of information and intelligence.”

Fusion Center Guidelines

The tour took only a short time. We were shown the “watch room” that has 4 tv screens displaying various news stations from local to Al Jazeera. A wall sized screen displaying a global incident map of suspiciose events worldwide was displayed. I believe it is the same one as this one, available online at; http://www.globalincidentmap.com/map.php which you must subscribe to get current, detailed information.

There was a small meeting room adjoining the watch room that connected to a large lab that had 2 big machines called “plotters” apparently the high tech alternative to old-fashioned butcher block paper that agents used to use. These are used for “link analysis”

We returned to the classroom for Q and A and also for a presentation on DNA and CODIS.

The OSBI allowed cameras and audio recording. Chris Emery and I will have more details tomorrow after media has been processed and I have had a chance to read the material given to us on the OIFC.

We will be having Stewart Rhodes as our guest tomorrow on Radio Free Oklahoma 8-10 CT and the Fusion Tour is sure to be discussed.

Radio Free Oklahoma is streamed live over the internet by Rule of Law Radio network. Listen online

Until then, here are a couple of points to ponder;

THE NEW PARADIGM—MERGING

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND

COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGIES

We know too that globalization is a permanent fact. The international economy is the engine of our nation, and the source of our wealth. This means more for law enforcement than is generally realized, even now. It means more than just police working new beats like container security, seaport security, airport security. It means that all the physical and conceptual walls associated with the modern, sovereign state—the walls that divide domestic from international, the police from the military, intelligence from law enforcement, war from peace, and crime from war—are coming down.

It means, in short, that police response to the new threats must be shaped by globalization, as surely as are the threats themselves.

The very notion of a local community is being transformed.

Thirty years ago, few police chiefs had to protect multinational corporations in their municipalities.

Today, many chiefs must secure the underpinnings of the most sophisticated economy on earth. The vast majority of this economy is not only in private hands, but also protected by private hands. If the need for police to partner with the private sector is therefore clear, the forms of these partnerships are still being forged.

The installation of cameras in Atlanta also offers an example of how police can partner financially with the private sector. The Atlanta Police didn’t put the cameras in themselves, nor did they pay for them. Rather, police leaders engaged business leaders in a dialogue. When business leaders asked what they could do to make the community safer, police suggested that that they put cameras up—and told them that if they did, police would emplace the monitors in their precincts. As a result, business leaders in one section of Atlanta raised $1 million to install video surveillance; in another, they raised about $400,000.

Increasing the amount of stop activity, using stealth cars or aggressive traffic enforcement, offers the chance for increased contact with terrorists and other criminals. Police in some areas are not exploiting this mechanism fully, due to profiling scandals and resulting consent decrees. Yet traffic enforcement provides a golden opportunity for contact with bad actors. Once police have made a constitutional motor-vehicle stop, they should have the ability, through training, to ask the kinds of questions that will help pinpoint terrorists.

Operation Shield Operation Shield

Pennsylvania gives its State Troopers special training to collect intelligence and to aggressively look for criminal violations during simple traffic stops. Operation Shield aims to helpofficers identify and interdict any fugitives, weapons contraband, and terrorists moving along Pennsylvania highways.

THE NEW PARADIGM—MERGING LAW

ENFORCEMENT AND COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGIES

Related posts;

OK Fusion Center and the National Guard. Documents

https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/sources-for-dhss-right-wing-extremists-report-revealed/

https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/fusion-center-designates-75-of-the-population-as-subversive-extremists/