Department of Homeland Security: Spying With No Direction
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established in 2003 by combining 22 separate federal agencies, several with law enforcement powers and intelligence missions. As a relatively new member of the Intelligence Community, DHS has struggled to establish a clearly defined role for its intelligence activities, leading at times to error and overreach that implicates the rights of innocent persons. The ACLU is uncovering improper DHS surveillance activities, like suspicion-less border searches, the production of flawed intelligence reports maligning political advocacy organizations, and the implementation of a dubious behavioral profiling program at airports. DHS is also a primary funder of state and local fusion centers and participates in suspicious activity reporting programs, each of which are, or have the potential to, infringe on civil liberties.