“A fusion center is an effective and efficient mechanism to exchange information and intelligence, maximize resources, streamline operations, and improve the ability to fight crime and terrorism by merging data from variety of sources. ”(1) Let us break this down, fusion is the act of fusing or combining and center is a point or place in which interest focuses. In other words a fusion center is a single place where the U.S. government collects all kinds of information on just about everyone. That single place they use is a high end database not a warehouse full of file cabinets stuff with paper document. A database is a where the collection of information that can be easily accessed and manipulated on a computer or computers. The two play a role off of each other, fusion centers and databases. Of course you can have one without the other but it makes it so much simpler to combine the two.
Using the fusion center to make it easier as far as knowing where to look up the info and the databases in order to obtain the information you desire to seek, change, add to or delete a quicker process. You may be asking “What is the purpose of the U. S. government having a fusion center for? ” It may not seem like something we need to go to such extremes to keep data on ourselves because we are just a citizen. The U. S. government finds it as a precaution for our safety and allows a better fight against crime and terrorism.
The U. S. government claim to use fusion centers for other reasons; Agriculture, Food, Water, and the Environment, Banking and Finance, Chemical Industry and Hazardous Materials, Criminal Justice, Education, Emergency Services (non-law enforcement), Energy, Government, Health and Public Health Services, Hospitality and Lodging, Information and Telecommunications, Military Facilities and Defense Industrial Base, Postal and Shipping, Private Security, Public Works, Real Estate, Retail, Social Services, Transportation.
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In 2004 and 2005, most states started making fusion centers with different local, state, and federal funds. At that point in time, there were no standards or guidelines existing to assist with the issues of operating together and communication with other fusion centers at the state, regional, and federal levels. As a result, fusion centers that were created to share information were actually just storing the information, and were incapable of exchanging the information. In response, the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) created is known as the Law Enforcement Intelligence Fusion Center Focus Group (FCFG).
At the same time, the Homeland Security Advisory Council , U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s, Intelligence and Information Sharing Working Group were focusing on the preventing information sharing by creating guidelines for local and state agencies in relation to the collection, analysis, and dissemination of terrorism-related intelligence (i. e. , the fusion process). The recommendations resulting from the U. S. Department of Justice initiative and Homeland Security Advisory Council’s efforts laid the foundation for the expansion of the Fusion Center Guidelines to combine the public safety and private sector entities. Consequential to publishing the first Version of the Fusion Center Guidelines and the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Intelligence and Information Sharing Initiative the Homeland Security Intelligence and Information Fusion report, the U. S Department of Justice and Homeland Security Advisory Council established two additional focus groups.
The two groups added were the Public Safety FCFG (fusion center focus group) and the Private Sector FCFG, in an attempt to develop a complete set of guidelines for fusion centers. Participants in the three focus groups included experts and practitioners from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; public safety agencies; and the private sector as well as government from current operating fusion centers. As well as, representatives from national law enforcement, public safety, and private sector organizations participated in the focus groups.
These guidelines are to be used to make sure that the fusion centers are established and operated consistently, resulting in improved coordination efforts, strengthened partnerships, and improved crime-fighting and antiterrorism capabilities. The guidelines and related materials will provide assistance to centers as they prioritize and address threats posed in their specific jurisdictions for all crime types, including terrorism. In addition, the guidelines will help administrators develop policies, manage resources, and evaluate services associated with the jurisdiction’s fusion center.
The guidelines are to be used for homeland security, as well as all other crimes and hazards. The full report contains a very in-depth explanation of the guidelines and the key elements needed. Also in the report are extra resources, model policies, and tools for guideline requirements’. “Fusion centers are incorporating private corporations into the intelligence process, further threatening privacy. There is no probable cause for any information relating to any citizen to be included in the data base. There is no due process connected with any information utilized.
There in no accountability for mishandling of information or misinformation distributed about any Oregon Citizen. Types of Data that are being collected: Living arrangements, drivers license records, insurance records, health records. Types of Data that may be collected: Phone Records, shopping records obtained through the private sector and used for profiling groups and individuals. Such information can be misused for “E-Verify” to screen for jobs, or insurance and health policies. E-Verify: E-Verify are an Internet-based system operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
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