Fusion Centers: Listen to Us Already?

The ACLU's been raising the alarm about fusion centers for a while now and it finally seems that public is slowly catching up with us. These post-9/11 phenomena have been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Let's catch you up.

In February, a "Prevention Awareness Bulletin" became public from a North Central Texas Fusion System. The bulletin warned of a conspiracy involving former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Muslim rights groups, anti-war groups, the U.S. Treasury Department and — wait for it — hip-hop groups. The same month, a "Strategic Report" from the Missouri Information Analysis Center listed supporters of third party candidates like Ron Paul and Bob Barr as a threat, claiming they were a part of the "modern militia movement."

The latest disturbing news is out of a Virginia fusion center. A document, posted online last week details potential concerns and threats throughout the Old Dominion State, specifically mentioning the multicultural population surrounding a military base. The assessment advocates for the monitoring of First Amendment-protected activities of various religious and educational facilities and characterizes the student population at specific Virginia colleges as traditionally black.

Gross.

These three incidents are compelling examples of why fusion centers are kind of like law enforcement snowflakes. Snowflakes without oversight: No two fusion centers are exactly alike and there are no consistent standards for them to work within. It's a problem.

After the ACLU testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, we sent five letters to the Department of Homeland Security Privacy Officer asking for investigations into these three incidents plus a few more for good measure.

The last two months have given us more evidence than necessary that fusion centers need regulation.We're asking Congress to step up to the plate and make sure the proper safeguards are put into place.

Otherwise, at this rate, we'll be getting a new horrifying fusion center story every few weeks. Scared yet? Matt Bors thinks you should be.

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Dave Strachan

Sounds like the ACLU is targeting free speech that it finds offensive. I find targeting free speech offensive. There are more important matters for the ACLU to attend to.

Karen Peralta

I am worried about concentration camnps in the USA. I'm not a right-winger like Glenn Beck, but I agree it's true that the FEMA camps have been and are being set up like detention centers, with armed guards and gun turrets. This is not good and I wish the ACLU would do something concerning this important issue.

Vic Livingston

THE UNSTATED TRUTH:

GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS ARE NOT JUST FOR SPYING...

THESE FUSION CENTERS APPEAR TO USE SURVEILLANCE AS PRETEXT FOR
PSYCHOLOGICAL HARASSMENT, CONTROL OVER INDIVIDUAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCOUNTS...

...AND OUTRIGHT CENSORSHIP AND PRIOR RESTRAINT OF POLITICAL AND COMMERCIAL SPEECH AND COMMUNICATIONS.

***

THE ACLU SHOULD SUE THE GOVERNMENT ON THESE GROUNDS -- NOT COVERED BY ANY REASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE PATRIOT ACT.

As readers of this blog may know, I am a journalist whose telecommunications have been officially sabotaged for five years -- from hijacked passwords and the hijacking of control over my computer connection, to outright censorship of my political speech and my ability to browse and post to certain web sites.

I have memorialized many of these affronts in a running contemporaneous journal posted to the "free speech" section of this blog (thank you, ACLU).

Here is that link:

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-govern...

But it takes more than a recitation of alleged abuses to correct these blatant infringements of basic constitutional rights -- not just the first amendment right of free speech, but freedom from unreasonable search and seizure of my internet connection, and freedom from the government's use of telecommunications as a tool of psychological harassment, control, and outright censorship.

I seek to sue multiple levels of government on these grounds, for damages. That is the only way these abuses can be stopped -- through legal action that results in official accountability and punitive sanctions.

Again -- this is not a matter of the government's declared right to perform surveillance on American citizens if it does not actually disclose the collected information (a dubious claim, for sure).

This case involves the use of telecommunications as an instrument to CONTROL telecommunications, and to harass citizens whose political speech does not meet with the approval of fusion center totalitarians.

I have reason to believe the DHS fusion center in Newtown, PA, near my home, is responsible for these egregious violations of my rights. I again request the ACLU's assistance in my quest for justice.

If, for some reason, ACLU does not take my case, could someone reading this please refer me to a civil rights attorney? These infringements have materially affected my ability to pursue my journalism career, and also have resulted in other related damages stemming from the blatant interference with my ability to use the internet -- and even to compose on my personal computer.

My telephone and internet communications remain subject to such interference, even interception. Important email typically does not draw a response.

I can be most reliably contacted via a posting to my web site, http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener.

ACLU, please consider these alternate grounds for a class-action suit that would restore the constitutional rights of all users of telecommunications -- and result in a recovery of damages suffered at the hands of totalitarians in government at all levels -- federal, state and local.

Thank you again for providing a "Wittenberg Gate" that allows public airing of these grievances (although, it should be noted, the draconian censorship and malicious interference also prevented me from reliably posting here for a period of more than four years).

st pete

Holy moly! The old, old American phobias have a new screaming forum, with enhanced accurate/inaccurate (doesn't matter to the phobias) info. I heard and read just this sort of mindless conspiracy-think in the 50's, and it was old then. Technology changes, but the American form of official stupidity goes on. Eternal vigilance was advised by our Founders; the ACLU is always needed.

anon commenter

At the very least, fusion centers "need regulation" - thank you for pushing for increased oversight. Thank you, as well, for stepping up to the plate and trying to make inroads with regard to the loss of privacy and civil liberties, in general.

Towards this end, please do what you can to investigate and "get to the bottom of" something that has come to be known as "community-based harassment, vigilante stalking, and/or organized stalking." Innocent, good people have been targeted and have lost their 4th Amendment rights. These operations are active in communities all across the country and victims are literally being terrorized. Thefts of personal property, vandalism, interference with employment, surreptitious home entries and surveillance are among the violations that victims experience.

It would seem that no one is listening. Targets/vicims are thought to be delusional or paranoid and, as such, are ignored. Someone really needs to take this seriously. An organization like the ACLU has the power, experience, and access to those in power to get to the bottom of an extra-judicial/extra-legal, parallel justice system that is playing out across America. Please do what you can to expose and stop these crimes. As long as these practices are allowed to continue, we are all at risk.

Vic Livingston

Please note:

The above was posted here on Wednesday night, April 8th. When this writer logged onto the blog this morning, the post did not appear on my connection.

I tried another computer. The commentary showed up this time.

So I went back to the original computer and logged onto blog.aclu.org again.

My post of last night still did NOT show up, even after repeated ""refreshing" of the page.

I believe what's described above is an example of malicious manipulation of telecommunications content by rogue fusion center operatives -- precisely what is described in the above post.

anon

Fusion centers are a menace and, yes, we should all be alarmed. As they currently operate, they are inconsistent with the rule of law, in my opinion. Many good, law-abiding Americans are assumed "guilty", until proven "innocent." And it they aren't quite "guilty", then they're definitely "suspect."

Unfortunately, my understanding is that "fusion centers" are so lucrative, financially, that it may be next-to-impossible to stem their mighty tide. Thank you for pushing back - I hope it isn't too late.

Vic Livingston

THE UNSTATED TRUTH:

GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS ARE NOT JUST FOR SPYING…

THESE FUSION CENTERS APPEAR TO USE SURVEILLANCE AS PRETEXT FOR
PSYCHOLOGICAL HARASSMENT, CONTROL OVER INDIVIDUAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCOUNTS…

…AND OUTRIGHT CENSORSHIP AND PRIOR RESTRAINT OF POLITICAL AND COMMERCIAL SPEECH AND COMMUNICATIONS.

***

THE ACLU SHOULD SUE THE GOVERNMENT ON THESE GROUNDS — NOT COVERED BY ANY REASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE PATRIOT ACT.

As readers of this blog may know, I am a journalist whose telecommunications have been officially sabotaged for five years — from hijacked passwords and the hijacking of control over my computer connection, to outright censorship of my political speech and my ability to browse and post to certain web sites.

I have memorialized many of these affronts in a running contemporaneous journal posted to the “free speech” section of this blog (thank you, ACLU).

Here is that link:

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-govern...

But it takes more than a recitation of alleged abuses to correct these blatant infringements of basic constitutional rights — not just the first amendment right of free speech, but freedom from unreasonable search and seizure of my internet connection, and freedom from the government’s use of telecommunications as a tool of psychological harassment, control, and outright censorship.

I seek to sue multiple levels of government on these grounds, for damages. That is the only way these abuses can be stopped — through legal action that results in official accountability and punitive sanctions.

Again — this is not a matter of the government’s declared right to perform surveillance on American citizens if it does not actually disclose the collected information (a dubious claim, for sure).

This case involves the use of telecommunications as an instrument to CONTROL telecommunications, and to harass citizens whose political speech does not meet with the approval of fusion center totalitarians.

I have reason to believe the DHS fusion center in Newtown, PA, near my home, is responsible for these egregious violations of my rights. I again request the ACLU’s assistance in my quest for justice.

If, for some reason, ACLU does not take my case, could someone reading this please refer me to a civil rights attorney? These infringements have materially affected my ability to pursue my journalism career, and also have resulted in other related damages stemming from the blatant interference with my ability to use the internet — and even to compose on my personal computer.

My telephone and internet communications remain subject to such interference, even interception. Important email typically does not draw a response.

I can be most reliably contacted via a posting to my web site, http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener.

ACLU, please consider these alternate grounds for a class-action suit that would restore the constitutional rights of all users of telecommunications — and result in a recovery of damages suffered at the hands of totalitarians in government at all levels — federal, state and local.

Thank you again for providing a “Wittenberg Gate” that allows public airing of these grievances (although, it should be noted, the draconian censorship and malicious interference also prevented me from reliably posting here for a period of more than four years).

Vic Livingston

I AM NO LONGER ABLE TO POST TO DAILYKOS.COM OR EDIT PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED WORK.

THIS APPEARS TO BE RETALIATION FOR THE ABOVE POST.

CAN ANYONE HELP?

ACLU and any interested parties:

Now, after posting the above commentary, the functions that allow me to post to my own blog page at dailykos.com have been DISABLED.

I am not able to post new commentaries, nor can I edit or revise the posts that already are up on dailykos.com.

THIS IS DRACONIAN CENSORSHIP that appears to be retaliation for my commentary, above. I believe this actions emanate from a DHS "fusion center" in Newtown, PA, near my home.

For a period of years, my attempts to post to ACLU's blog were blocked. As I journalist, I rely on free and open communications. I am being denied the tools I require to pursue my work.

I had thought that his blatant censorship and prior restraint would cease with the change in administration in Washington. I was mistaken.

If there is anyone out there who can help me exercise my constitutional right to freedom of speech, assembly, communication, and freedom from these uncreasonable searches and seizures of my telecommunications...

...please try to contact me at scrivener50@verizon.net, or post a message to my blog pages at http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener . My email is subject to inception, even alteration, and I rarely get responses to important email.

My experiences confirm the fact that we are living in a police state. This cannot be allowed to stand. Today, it's me. Tomorrow, it may be YOU, or someone close to you.

For more on GESTAPO USA:

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Anonymous

HI
I'M WRITING TO ASK SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO HANDLE MY SITUATION ON BEING SPIED ON BY WHO I BELIEVE IS SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY. I BELIEVE THEY ARE USING ILLEGAL DEVICES LIKE WIRETAPS ,THERMAL IMAGING AND G.P.S. ON MY CAR, AS WELL AS TAKING PICTURES THROUGH MY WINDOWS. THE LAST STRAW WAS WHEN THEY SHOWED UP AT A CHRISTMAS PARTY I WAS AT AND THREATENED TO USE A 50. CAL GUN IF I EXPOSED THEM THEY KNOW I KNOW ABOUT THEM. THEY STARTED SPYING ON ME FROM A PREVIOUS ADDRESS. I BELIEVE THEIR NAMES ARE LYNDA JOHNSON, HER SON OR STEPSON CRAIG, HER DAUGHTER A.J. AND HER HUSBAND AND 2-4 OTHER PEOPLE. I WISH I COULD AFFORD A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO VALIDATE MY FINDINGS BUT CANT. IVE GONE TO TWO LOCAL POLICE DEPT.S, EAST POINT AND COLLEGE PARK TO NO AVAIL. ONE SAID THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE TECH. TO FIND THE TRUTH AND ONE EVEN SAID' YOU SURE ITS NOT A P.I. FROM YOUR WIFE TO SEE IF YOUR CHEATING'. IVE EMAILED MY LOCAL ACLU CHAPTER AND WAS TURNED AWAY DUE TO THEM BEING UNDERSTAFFED. I KNOW I HAVE A CASE AND I KNOW SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE, I FEAR FOR MY LIFE AS WELL AS MY PRIVACY. I WOULD APPRECIATE YOU CONTACTING ME VIA EMAIL BECAUSE I BELIEVE THEY ARE SITTING ON MY HOUSE FROM A NEIGHBORS DUE TO THE FACT THAT IVE SEEN THEM COMING AND GOING ON OCCASION.

SCOTT DECHESERE
4350 JAILETTE ROAD
COLLEGE PARK, GEORGIA 30349
404-767-8207

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