Pendleton Domestic Spying Part of Growing Danger of Fusion Centers
“Fusion centers” is the name of locally based, public-private data collection projects that are part of a growing domestic surveillance apparatus, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Today the ACLU released a report detailing spying on Maryland peace demonstrators, a mysterious domestic-spying scandal at the Camp Pendleton military base in San Diego County, and other recent incidents, confirming that its warnings about fusion centers were coming true.
In November 2007, the ACLU released a report, “What’s Wrong With Fusion Centers,” in which the group warned about the potential dangers of these new institutions, including ambiguous lines of authority, excessive secrecy, troubling private-sector and military roles, and an apparent bent toward collection of information about innocent activities and data mining. The report released today explains how recent developments have only confirmed the urgency of these warnings.
“Since we wrote our first report, there have been numerous incidents around the country that have confirmed the substance and the seriousness of our warnings,” said ACLU National Security Policy Counsel and report co-author Michael German. “We warned that the structure of fusion centers was ripe for abuse, and that recruiting every corner beat cop to file reports on innocent everyday behavior was a bad idea.”
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