Fusion Centers

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[Extracted from Wikipedia article in May, 2009]


A Fusion Center is a terrorism prevention and response center that was started as 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[1][2]

They are designed to promote information sharing at the federal level between agencies such as the CIA, FBI and Department of Justice) and at the state and local level. There are more than forty fusion centers with up to fifteen more are planned. Fusion centers may also be affiliated with an Emergency Operations Center that responds in the event of a disaster.
 

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Criticism

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[3]. Anti-war activists and Islamic lobby groups were targeted in Texas, drawing criticism from the ACLU [4].

According to the Department of Homeland Security[5]:

[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 of 2009, the Virginia Fusion Center came under criticism for publishing a terrorism threat assessment which states that certain universities are potential hubs for terror related activity.[6] The report targeted historically black colleges and identified hacktivism as a form of terrorism.[7]


Some Existing Fusion Centers


See Also


References

  1. Monahan, T. 2009. The Murky World of 'Fusion Centres'. Criminal Justice Matters 75 (1): 20-21.[1]
  2. http://www.securitymanagement.com/article/smashing-intelligence-stovepipes?page=0%2C1
  3. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/
  4. http://www.securitymanagement.com/news/fusion-centers-under-fire-texas-and-new-mexico-005314
  5. Privacy Impact Assessment for the Department of Homeland Security State, Local, and Regional Fusion Center Initiative December 11, 2008 [2]
  6. http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Virginia_terror_assessment_targets_enormous_crosssection_0406.html
  7. http://rawstory.com/images/other/vafusioncenterterrorassessment.pdf
  8. ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) on Fusion Centers and Real ID
    http://www.endusmilitarism.org/aclu_on_fusion_centers_and_real_id.html


External links

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