Researched by Kerry Headley and Jenny Gibson
The Bush administration is trying to establish state, local and regional “fusion centers” as a primary mechanism for the collection and dissemination of domestic intelligence within a program known as the National Strategy for Information Sharing. The ACLU cited news accounts of overzealous intelligence gathering, the expansion of uncontrolled access to data on innocent people, hostility to open government laws, abusive entanglements between security agencies and the private sector, and lax protections for personally identifiable information. The federal government appears to be coercing states into exempting their fusion centers from disclosure to news organizations and the public. A new Los Angeles Police Department order compels officers to report “suspicious behaviors” such as taking measurements, using binoculars, espousing extremist views and taking notes.
“FBI Nudges State ‘Fusion Centers’ into the Shadows” Declan McCullagh, CNETNEW.com, 4/8/2008 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-9916599_38.html?hhTest=1
“Information Fusion Centers and Privacy” Electronic Privacy Information Center, 12/2008 http://epic.org/privacy/fusion/
“Fusion Center Update” Mike German and Jay Stanley, ACLU.org, 7/29/2008 http://www.aclu.org/pdfs/privacy/fusion_update_20080729