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By GCN Staff

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Report trashes fusion centers

A recent report from the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on fusion centers found they waste taxpayer money and trample civil liberties, rather than provide a mechanism for coordinating federal, state and local homeland security efforts. It also found that Homeland Security Department efforts to engage fusion centers has not yielded significant useful information to support federal counterterrorism intelligence efforts.

The report drew fire  from DHS and some members of Congress, however. DHS defended the fusion centers, saying the Senate investigators relied on out-of-date data, according to the Washington Post.  The DHS statement also said the investigators misunderstood the role of fusion centers, “which is to provide state and local law enforcement analytic support in furtherance of their day-to-day efforts to protect local communities from violence, including that associated with terrorism,” the Post reported.

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) also have defended the centers’ performance.

Launched after the 9/11 attacks, fusion centers were designed to combine data from various sources -- primarily federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, but also other repositories, such as driver's license databases -- and make the information available through a single interface or, at least, in a single location.

Posted by GCN Staff on Oct 05, 2012 at 9:39 AM


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