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Neighborhood Snitches and Fusion Centers

Written by Gary North on April 6, 2012

Across the USA, a new program of neighborhood spying is being implemented.

Take Los Angeles. The LAPD has something called Special Order 1 (SO 1).

SO 1 enables LAPD officers to file Suspicious Activity Reports on observed behaviors or activities. Where things get murky, however, is how SAR guidelines categorize constitutionally protected, non-criminal and commonplace activities such as using binoculars, snapping photographs and taking notes as indicators of terrorism-related activity. The SARs are coupled with the LAPD’s iWatch program, a campaign the police pioneered to encourage regular citizens to report “suspicious” activity, including “a person wearing clothes that are too big or too hot for the weather,” or things that just plain old don’t “look right.”

Far from being merely a local phenomenon, the standardized program that the LAPD developed in 2008 served as the lead model for a National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. “Success” stories from the LAPD’s program are used in national training material, and the LAPD touts it as “the first program in the U.S. to create a national standard” for terrorism-related procedures.

According to the Information Sharing Environment, the nationwide SAR initiative “establishes a standardized process whereby SAR information can be shared among agencies to help detect and prevent terrorism-related criminal activity.” Personal data that is collected on these individuals is treated as criminal intelligence. The rapidly expanding and dangerously intrusive network houses personal data on thousands of Americans.

Then there are fusion centers. There are 72 of these data-collection centers across the USA. A list is here. Here is how the government justifies them.

As a counter-terrorism initiative, the SAR program is already in place in major cities like Boston, Miami and Seattle, and is in the process of being rolled out across the nation by September of this year. The Los Angeles model gives citizens in other places an idea of what they can expect. Between 2008 and 2010, the LAPD shared 2,668 SARs with the local fusion center, which only uploaded 2 percent of them to the database — meaning that the majority of the reports did not have a reasonable indication of criminal activity. Though only a fraction were used by the fusion center, the LAPD retained the remaining 98 percent of its SARs in intelligence files, even though they did not serve as evidence of crime.

The system is not working. Yet it’s very expensive.

According to an independent analysis conducted by the Institute for Homeland Security Solutions in April 2011, analysts “also expressed a desire to obtain feedback on SARs reported to federal agencies on whether the SARs did, in fact, constitute genuine threats; such feedback reportedly occurs rarely, if ever.” The report also found that the majority of thwarted terrorism plots came from investigations into criminal activity as opposed to intelligence gathering. “They’ve created this expensive, and resource-intensive system that has a huge impact on innocent people’s privacy,” said German. “And yet there is no science showing that this is an effective way of going about law enforcement or intelligence gathering.”

Who’s next?

Continue Reading on www.alternet.org

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12 thoughts on “Neighborhood Snitches and Fusion Centers

  1. "Fusion center"? Sounds suspiciously similar to "concentration camp".

  2. sean murry says:

    A bunch of cheese eaters

  3. Isn’t this profiling? I am sure they use the SPLC guidelines for domestic terrorists: homeschoolers, returning vets, Ron Paul supporters, global warming skeptics, opponents of the NDAA, people opposed to Obamacare, small government advocates….

  4. What else would one expect in California? I surely hope the people there awaken very soon re:some of their elected officials.

  5. I don't see how any of this is going to work. LA Police as well as many other police depts around the country can't even began to get a handle on gang activity going on in their own cities. I'm skeptical that anything like this can ever work.

  6. FRITZ329th says:


  7. The RobertScottBell Show.

  8. LiveFreeOrDie says:

    Just more taxpayer money going down the drain…. I'm sure all those suspicious activities include the numerous police officers taking bribes…lol

  9. Scott Todd says:

    How about deporting all middle-easterners who have expired visas? Then maybe we wouldn't need these snitch sites. What a concept!

  10. Fusion Centers are a conglomeration of local leo’s, highway patrol, FBI, and in some locations, like DC, Maryland, Virginia, other Federal agencies. Private contractors run the places in order to get around the law which would require responding to Freedom if Information Act requests – which are routinely ignored. In the DC, VA, and MD area, the flury of activity is actually aimed against Federal whistleblowers who actually believe Federal employees should follow the law. The National Security Agency, which has been reported multiple times (see Wayne Madsen Reports) for widespread sexual abuse and coercion of young female and male employees as well as the usual fraud, waste, and abuse Feds are “supposed to” report, routinely uses its checks and balances organizations such as the EEO and the Inspector General’s office to ferret out employees who innocently report sometimes even criminal or traitorous wrong-doing to them, and turn the tables on the whistleblowers. They are targeted for intimidation, harassment, slander/libel campaigns conducted by NSA Security thugs and also coopted neighborhood watch thugs (who are rewarded with under-the-table home improvements, college tutition, new cars, etc. from NSA’s unlimited budget). County cops are bribed to look the other way and some have even participated in the intimidation of whistleblowers. After being harassed, an employee would report suspucious behavior of people around them as required to do to make sure these people holding Top Secret clearances had not been targeted by foreign agents. However, since the suspicious behavior is orchestrated by NSA Security, it is a set up, so when the target reports the behavior to Security, they have a fraudulent psychological attack ready to strip the person of his/her clearance based on a false accusation of “mental illness” in order to fire the person in retaluation for reporting wrong doing engaged in usually by NSA managers, who are essentially a cabal of degenerates and perverts hiding behind their Top Secret clearances to keep their crimes that sell out America a secret. Whistelblowers have been fired unjustly, illegally and blackballed from any orher Federal job to keep them from ever collecting their pensions and some have been socially and financially destroyed, others have succumbed to health problems caused by severe psychological abuse designed by NSA experts on psychological warfare, others who would not be intimidated – have been physically harmed. All Maryland politicians, judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement are complicit. Maryland was the test ground for their first Police “State” and they found the Maryland citizens gleefully compliant for money.

  11. Fusion centers are run by contractors so that the targeted individual cannot request information under the FOIA – Freedom of Information Act. Unfortunately, in Maryland, Fusion Centers aid and abet Federal entities such as the National Security Agency at Ft. Meade, Maryland to deal with their internal whistle blowers (employees who dare report – usually managerial -wrong-doing to internal authorities such as the EEO and/or the OIG (Office of Inspector General) not understanding that the crooks have long ago coopted the oversight entities. NSA, FBI, DOJ routinely use Fusion Centers to augment Federal thugs they yse to stalk, harass and intimidate whistle blowers. The Maryland authorities have long ago been bought off, to turn a blind eye to these crimes. Police departments get bright shiny toys, and politicians like Mikulski get to stay in power by knowingly covering up for them. Neighborhood watch thugs get under-the-table payments in the form of home improvements, new cars, tuition, etc. The crooks keep betraying their country and the patriots lose their careers, homes, financial stability and reputations. It us a policy of personal destryction to make sure the public dies not understand the depth of depravity of NSA in particular and the Federal government in general.

  12. Sorry to post twice, the damn first post didn’t show up for 30 minutes plus! So I figured it had glitched.