Questions to Ask About Fusions Centers

November 21, 2007
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GENERAL QUESTIONS
Is there a state, local or regional Fusion Center in my area?

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Is the Fusion Center located within law enforcement facilities, in other government facilities or private space?

Who are the participants in the Fusion Center?

Under what authority does the Fusion Center operate (state law, local law, or federal law)?

Who is responsible for ensuring all federal, state and local laws protecting privacy and civil liberties are enforced?

What state or local sunshine laws or open meeting laws apply to activities taking place at Fusion Centers?

DATA MINING AND DATA SECURITY QUESTIONS
What information, intelligence and/or data are collected at the Fusion Center and how is it stored?

Who has access to this data at the Fusion Center? How is it protected from misuse?

What does the Fusion Center do to ensure the accuracy of the data it receives and disseminates?

Do all data bases associated with the Fusion Center comply with 28 C.F.R. Part 23?

How is private, personally identifiable information received by the Fusion Center protected?

Does the Fusion Center engage in data mining?

What databases/data sets does the Fusion Center have access to, and how does it access them?

PARTICIPATION OF NON-LAW ENFORCEMENT ENTITIES IN FUSION CENTER ACTIVITY
Do any non-law enforcement entities participate in Fusion Center activities? If so, who?

Do any private sector entities participate in the Fusion Center activities? If so, who?

How are private sector entities selected to participate in the Fusion Center? May private sector entities not selected to participate in Fusion Centers receive the same information that is made available to those private entities that are selected? How would they get access to this information?

Do these non-law enforcement entities have access to law enforcement information or databases through their participation in the Fusion Centers? If they are co-located with law enforcement personnel what safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized access?

Who is responsible for overseeing the non-law enforcement and private sector personnel, and who are these individuals accountable to?

Who trains Fusion Center personnel?

Who receives data, intelligence reports or other products from the Fusion Centers?

Do any private companies handle, store or analyze data received from or processed through the Fusion Center? How is that data protected once it is out of government control?

CLASSIFICATION ISSUES
Are there facilities at the Fusion Center to store classified information?

Have local officials been given security clearances?

Have any private sector entities been given security clearances or access to sensitive information at the Fusion Center?

Does the use of classified information at the Fusion Center limit intelligence sharing with state and local law enforcement agencies in our cities, towns and communities? How is this problem being addressed?

PARTICIPATION OF MILITARY PERSONNEL IN FUSION CENTERS
Does the National Guard participate in the Fusion Center, and if so, under what authority?

Are the National Guardsmen limited in what data they may collect, analyze, or review at the Fusion Centers?

Do any active-duty military personnel participate, and if so under what authority?

How is activity of the National Guardsmen and military personnel monitored to ensure compliance with applicable laws regarding the use of the military in domestic law enforcement?

COSTS AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF FUSION CENTERS
What are the annual costs of the Fusion Center?

How do you evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the Fusion Center?

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