For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org  

DHS Privacy Office Echoes ACLU’s Concerns With Fusion Centers

WASHINGTON - A privacy impact assessment issued by the Department of Homeland
Security Privacy Office today officially validates concerns the ACLU
raised last year about the dangers a network of intelligence "fusion
centers" pose to privacy and civil liberties. An ACLU report entitled
"What's Wrong With Fusion Centers?" was published in November 2007 and
updated earlier this year. The DHS privacy impact assessment released
today echoes, sometimes word for word, the privacy concerns identified
by the ACLU in these reports.
The ACLU welcomes the findings of the assessment and hopes to assist
the DHS privacy office improve privacy protections within these new
institutions, which amount to nothing less than a full-fledged domestic
intelligence system.

The following can be attributed Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

"Fusion
centers remain a mysterious and troubling trend in local law
enforcement. The more we know about fusion centers, the better off
we'll be. Police intelligence activities have a troubled history in the
United States, so we're glad to see the DHS privacy office shining a
light on the privacy threats fusion centers pose.

"The
use of data mining, participation by the private sector, ambiguous
lines of authority and the general lack of transparency all pose
hazards for Americans' privacy. Given the fact that the DHS privacy
office sees the same problems the ACLU does with fusion centers, it
should be obvious that serious oversight is necessary. We look forward
to working with the DHS to solve these problems."

 

To read the ACLU's reports on fusion centers, go to:

www.aclu.org/fusion

 

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