Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Government United States News

US "Fusion Centers" For Intelligence Sharing 116

Posted by kdawson
from the if-you're-not-doing-anything-wrong dept.
Wired has an article on the national fusion centers in the US, which were created to aid intelligence-sharing in the fight against terrorism but are increasingly being used to look at other sorts of crimes. The keynote of these centers is "all hazards, all threats" — the LA police chief is quoted: "Information that might seem innocuous may have some connection to terrorism." The ACLU has up an interactive US map to help you become acquainted with your local fusion center.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US "Fusion Centers" For Intelligence Sharing

Comments Filter:
  • So will Idaho become the new Silicon Valley?
    • 9 Oct. 1962

      I was feeling sick down and blue,
      Didn't know what in the world I was gonna do.
      Them communist they were comin' around,
      They were in the air
      They were on the ground.
      They wouldn't give me no peace.

      So I run down most hurriedly
      And joined the John Birch Society.
      Got me a secret membership card,
      Started walking off down the road.
      Yoohoo, I'm a real John Bircher now.
      Look out you commies.

      Well we all agree with Hitler's views,
      Although he killed six millions Jews.
      It don't matter too much if he was a fascist,
      At l
    • Speaking of the states, what is up with California having 7 fusion centers? New York has 3 and the rest of the states(note: I didn't check 'em all) seem to have 1 each. Here's some chilling info from TFA about the Maryland center:

      "...15 reps from private sector groups to work on how to structure relationship between center and private entities; Finance and transportation sectors have been strong in getting and sharing info. Transportation partners include Amtrak, CSX, some airlines, metro, light rail. "
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:10PM (#22831430) Homepage Journal
    Though over here I believe they are regional Counter Terrorism Units.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/19/gordon_brown_jack_bauer_ctu_counter_terror_plan/ [theregister.co.uk]
  • Read: data mining (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:12PM (#22831442)
    In other words, these are data mining centers, designed to organize and classify the information obtained via unconstitutional surveillance and data sharing programs, in addition to the myriad of legal sources. There, FBI personnel will work hard to ensure that nobody who orders pizza at 11:43PM, while purchasing a copy of "Diary of Anne Frank" online, gets away with the undoubtedly terrorist activities they might be planning (they may not even know it themselves, but that's just because the data mining is so good).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jo42 (227475)
      Under previous regimes and in precedent times such organizations where named "Stasi [wikipedia.org]" and "KGB [wikipedia.org]".

      Oh, Amerika, you are becoming what you fought so hard against...
      • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:59PM (#22831714) Homepage
        Under previous regimes and in precedent times such organizations where named "Stasi" and "KGB". Oh, Amerika, you are becoming what you fought so hard against...

        Not really, the FBI is subject to the oversight of a freely and fairly elected congress. That's incredibly different than the precedents you offer. Collecting and analyzing data is something that law enforcement has legitimately done for centuries, data mining is just automation.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Not really, the FBI is subject to the oversight of a freely and fairly elected congress.
          Yeah, it's so great the the Pelosi/Reid led Congress has been having hearings about such important things like steroid use in baseball 10 years ago.

          BFD.

          What about the FISA extension that Congress left unvoted on for weeks? What about looking into the junk mortgage market?

          No, we found out Roger Clemens is a lying sack of shit.
          • What about the FISA extension that Congress left unvoted on for weeks?

            Oh, you mean the bill that President Bush promised to veto if it did not reach his desk without retroactive immunity for AT&T and other telecom companies that broke the law?

            You mean this pointless bill [informationweek.com]?

            FISA allows for warrantless wiretaps already. Nothing changed by making the FBI seek a judge's approval in 3 days after the wiretap rather than never.

            Who modded you up? You obviously don't read /. or the news. But you sure love to sprea
        • Not really, the FBI is subject to the oversight of a freely and fairly elected congress.

          Remember that the next time you're watching an episode of Cops and laughing your ass off.
          Bwahaha. That guy is such a f*cking idio...OMG I hope he doesn't vote.

          Or closer to home, look at your neighbors. They vote too. The a**hole who constantly walks his dog over to my yard so it can take a dump--he votes. And the dude across the street who is ALWAYS in his bathrobe drinking a beer 24/7 votes.

          Now I'm not sayin
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by cheater512 (783349)
            Um... We are talking about the US here.

            No body votes so you have nothing to be worried about.
        • by nbauman (624611)

          Under previous regimes and in precedent times such organizations where named "Stasi" and "KGB". Oh, Amerika, you are becoming what you fought so hard against...

          Not really, the FBI is subject to the oversight of a freely and fairly elected congress. That's incredibly different than the precedents you offer. Collecting and analyzing data is something that law enforcement has legitimately done for centuries, data mining is just automation.

          Really? Exactly who had oversight over the FBI agents and the [Republican] Justice Department agents who data mined [Democrat] Eliot Spitzer's bank deposits? Or [Democratic] Governor Don Siegelman? http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/nyregion/21justice.html [nytimes.com] http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/03/10/spitzer/index.html [salon.com]

          • Really? Exactly who had oversight over the FBI agents and the [Republican] Justice Department agents who data mined [Democrat] Eliot Spitzer's bank deposits? Or [Democratic] Governor Don Siegelman?

            You are naive to believe that politics is involved. There is no shortage of republicans that have been burned by law enforcement including the feds. Hell, Spitzer himself authorized/requested plenty of investigations including those involving prostitution, that is part of the press frenzy of this case. Also, a
            • by nbauman (624611)

              Really? Exactly who had oversight over the FBI agents and the [Republican] Justice Department agents who data mined [Democrat] Eliot Spitzer's bank deposits? Or [Democratic] Governor Don Siegelman?

              You are naive to believe that politics is involved. There is no shortage of republicans that have been burned by law enforcement including the feds. Hell, Spitzer himself authorized/requested plenty of investigations including those involving prostitution, that is part of the press frenzy of this case. Also, analysis of banking activity has been going on since the 1970s, maybe even the 1960s. Banks, auto dealers, etc have been required to report sufficiently large cash transactions for many decades. Your tinfoil had may be a little too tight, try loosening it up one rivet hole. :-)

              My question, which you haven't answered because you don't have an answer, is, exactly who had oversight in those two cases. If you don't know the answer, then you can't hold an opinion on the basis of facts, only on the basis of blind faith. As Glenn Greenwald pointed out in the article on Salon that I linked to, the Justice Department under G.W. Bush has prosecuted 5 times as many Democrats as Republicans, and during legal process they have uncovered written instructions from the White House to prosecuto

              • You are naive, or politically motivated, to attempt to frame abuse as Republican specific. One of the first things that Bill and Hillary did upon their arrival at the White House was to illegally request the FBI files of Republican opponents and staffers.
    • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:47PM (#22831644) Homepage
      FBI personnel will work hard to ensure that nobody who orders pizza at 11:43PM, while purchasing a copy of "Diary of Anne Frank" online

      The point of data mining is that some connections are not obvious at all, pizza and books are legitimate pieces of data from a scientific/statistical point of view.

      We know that the enemy favors couriers, a routine delivery person like a pizza delivery boy makes a good courier. Especially since it is an easily acquired job.

      Common books have been used for ciphers for centuries.

      The FBI has successfully mapped out organized crime networks through data mining of the most inconsequential and trivial looking information. It is likely that this technique will be successful against other groups as well. You may rightfully question the legality of acquisition methods and raise privacy concerns, but mocking the technique only demonstrates an ignorance of the topic.
      • by vertinox (846076) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @05:04PM (#22831738)
        You may rightfully question the legality of acquisition methods and raise privacy concerns, but mocking the technique only demonstrates an ignorance of the topic.

        Torture is also great way to find criminals. As one of the Pol Pot interrogators in Cambodia once stated (in that History Channel documentary which I'm paraphrasing), "After a while, I was surprised how much anti-government activity was going on in our nation and reported this to my superior! We were ordered to double the amount of persons we tortured and through their confession we found that the anti-government conspiracy was even larger than we ever imagined!"

        The point being is that using these techniques used in a certain way can make criminals out of otherwise innocent people through circumstance or confessions. If you throw an innocent person in jail and then interrogate him for a few hours (non-tortured mind you) and then show him that his pizza boy was a carrier for organized crime and then showed him enough material he might actually start believing it too and sign a confession at a certain point.

        Its why many distraught family members often confess to murder of a loved one when they are questioned long enough and accused of the crime.

        Yes, of course it can find real criminals, but used in the wrong way you can find a lot more than you expected.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          "You may rightfully question the legality of acquisition methods and raise privacy concerns, but mocking the technique only demonstrates an ignorance of the topic."

          Torture is also great way to find criminals.


          Wrong. Torture generates a lot of bad leads, interrogators are told what they want to hear.

          The point being is that using these techniques used in a certain way can make criminals out of otherwise innocent people through circumstance or confessions.

          Wrong, data mining generates connections,
          • by vertinox (846076) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @05:39PM (#22831946)
            Wrong. Torture generates a lot of bad leads, interrogators are told what they want to hear.

            If a court determines who is a criminal and who is not, then by default a confession of a crime makes the person a criminal regardless of if its true. I think I may have missed a sarcasm tag about torture though. That was the point of the Pol Pot interrogator who was truly shocked on how many criminals he was finding among the populace which just what the interrogator wanted to hear.

            No criminality is determined by data mining. It is statistically generating a list of people to check out.

            But isn't there a bias towards the investigators that these persons are indeed criminals? If an investigator believes this person is the most likley candidate according to their dataset, regardless of it really was that person who committed the crime, would they not naturally treat the person as the criminal until they find some other information that said otherwise.

            Now a more calm and collected investigator would keep all options on the table, but wouldn't a more zealous one haul the person in for questioning and then accuse them of the crime and attempt to gather information with hopes they can make them break?

            Human nature cannot be taken out of the equation and information will be abused to acheive their goals. This can never be denied.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              "Wrong. Torture generates a lot of bad leads, interrogators are told what they want to hear."

              If a court determines who is a criminal and who is not, then by default a confession of a crime makes the person a criminal regardless of if its true.


              That is a red herring, coerced confessions are not admissible in court.

              But isn't there a bias towards the investigators that these persons are indeed criminals? ...

              Not "indeed", *possibly*, that's what a suspect inherently is. Data mining is automation of
              • by ultranova (717540)

                That is a red herring, coerced confessions are not admissible in court.

                How do you prove that your signature was given under coercion ? Besides, if you're accused of terrorism, you won't go to court, you go to Guantanamo Bay.

          • by jamstar7 (694492)

            You may rightfully question the legality of acquisition methods and raise privacy concerns, but mocking the technique only demonstrates an ignorance of the topic.

            Torture is also great way to find criminals.

            Wrong. Torture generates a lot of bad leads, interrogators are told what they want to hear.

            I think the previous poster was refering to confessions given during torture. If the guy zapping your nuts with a cattle prod keeps telling you, "We know you are guilty. We have proof. I'll stop doing thi

          • by ultranova (717540)

            Torture generates a lot of bad leads, interrogators are told what they want to hear.

            I believe that was the grandparent's point.

            It does, however, raise a question: even if we disregard morality completely, should the use of torture in military interrogation be nonetheless prohibited, because it is very likely to give false data ? I've often heard people debate the use of torture like it was an effective tool for intelligence gathering and the only reasons not to use it would be moral ones, but it seems

          • Wrong. Torture generates a lot of bad leads, interrogators are told what they want to hear.
            *Whooosh*
      • by KillerCow (213458)

        The point of data mining is that some connections are not obvious at all, pizza and books are legitimate pieces of data from a scientific/statistical point of view.

        Yes. So is religion, race, age, gender, political affiliation, sexual preference, skin color, voting history, if you've ever been to a protest rally, if you've ever voiced opposition to a government initiative, and your medical history.

        Persecuting someone on those grounds is abhorrent to a free society. People should be examined based on what w

    • by vertinox (846076) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:54PM (#22831684)
      they may not even know it themselves, but that's just because the data mining is so good

      Thats the problem with crimes of theory rather than actual crimes that took place. If you documented every single action of any citizen, you could eventually cherry pick enough activities that are statistically related to being a terrorist and then haul the person in front of a court and say "This person was planning on committing a terrorist act! Our database shows the following activities that give a 95% probability of a plan to commit terrorist related activities."

      Since they aren't accusing you of an actual crime that you carried out, you can only dispute whether or not you actually did the things in the list. Since you cannot say they you didn't do those things in the list, then you must be a terrorist according to their logic unless you somehow prove that those actives are not related to terrorism.

      That is a harder to defend against since the crime in question was whether or not you were going to do something and not if you actually did it. Sadly, you cannot have someone crack open your brain and discern what you were really thinking for the past year and even if you take a polygraph the cards are stacked against you due to interrogation techniques.

      Eventually, if such a scenario did occur, there will be a chilling effect and many people will be guessing what those activities are... Attending anti-war rallies... Writing anti-government blog posts... Or generally belonging to the wrong political party and then simply stop doing them out of fear of showing up as a probable terrorist.
      • Don't you mean WHEN it does occur? We are going down a path well traveled throughout history, its just now the government has technology behind it to tip the balance and perhaps prevent the next stage in the process ( revolution ).
    • Diary of Anne Frank (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:57PM (#22831704)
      Oh geez can you imagine if the Internet had been around when Anne Frank was alive? That diary would have been a lot shorter but at least it would been online and she could have liveblogged the whole Holocaust to the rest of the world:

      6 June 1944
      I see the world gradually being turned into a wasteland. I hear the ever approaching thunder which will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions of people and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I somehow feel that all this will come right again, that also this savagery will stop, that there will be peace and tranquillity in the world once again.
      Until that time, I must hold onto my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I'll still be able to realise them.
      Comments(468) Trackback(11)

      July 1, 1944
      If I'm watched to that extent, I start by getting snappy, then unhappy and finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I so would like to be, and what I could be, if, there weren't any other people living in the world.
      Comments(594) Trackback(9)

      NOTE: THIS BLOG HAS BEEN ARCHIVED OR SUSPENDED FOR A VIOLATION OF OUR TERMS OF SERVICE
      • by owlnation (858981)
        It is a very sobering thought. There is no doubt that a present (or very near future) day Anne Frank will get the opportunity to do just that in either the UK or the US.

        It's coming. These Fusion centers are just one more step. It's already too late to stop the horrific future we are headed straight for. Nobody's fighting back, nobody is doing anything but shrugging their shoulders and saying "oh look, more fascism". We are resigned to the fact that is is surely coming.

        In the US elections this isn't ev
      • by couchslug (175151)
        "Oh geez can you imagine if the Internet had been around when Anne Frank was alive? "

        Amateur radio fulfilled clandestine commo functions when Anne was alive. Monitoring consisted of crews waiting to DX your transmitter if you went "online". "Liveblogging" back then was rather hazardous...
  • finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by nguy (1207026) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:17PM (#22831468)
    Fusion in our lifetime!
    • by peragrin (659227)
      It is a government agency with an already bloated setup. just how effective do you think it will really be?

      People are worried about big brother scenarios. If this was the UK maybe, but no this is the land of pork barrel projects galore. As such I am not worried. they will spend billions and achieve a semi working prototype that needs to be rebooted every 6 hours.

      • People are worried about big brother scenarios. If this was the UK maybe, but no this is the land of pork barrel projects galore. As such I am not worried. they will spend billions and achieve a semi working prototype that needs to be rebooted every 6 hours.

        Yeah, it might work about as well as that piecemeal fence will work keeping out illegals....

        I'm torn whether the general inefficiency and ineptitude of our federal government is a good or a bad thing in this case. On one hand, it could lead to the wh

    • No. It is the bad kind of fusion.
  • We've been waiting for 50-odd years for controlled fusion to solve the energy crisis.

    Oh wait, wrong article.
  • by grassy_knoll (412409) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:20PM (#22831494) Homepage
    Ok, so it's standard practice not to read TFA, so not including a link to the wired article in the summary would seem to save time.

    However, if you'd like to read the article, I think this is it:

    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/03/feds-tout-new-d.html [wired.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by swright (202401)
      hmm, I find this as scary as the next guy - but isn't there a part of every geek that finds its fascinating?

      Its like the holy grail of data analysis; transcending the bording bits of storage and indexing to the complex fun bits of trying to organise data and explore interfaces for making easy for humans to tag related 'facts' and associate them with others.

      Not a fan of big brother - but I've love to be writing the tech that does it!!!

      • hmm, I find this as scary as the next guy - but isn't there a part of every geek that finds its fascinating?
        I'm probably not geeky enough, but no, I don't find it particularly fascinating (I think my disgust with our rush to a construct a police state is overcoming my geekery). I'm sure there will be plenty of well-intentioned, fascinated geeks willing to work on it though.
      • by Kandenshi (832555)

        Not a fan of big brother - but I've love to be writing the tech that does it!!!

        So that you could write a backdoor into the program, and later be able to find out anything you want about anyone? >=)

        Of course, writing a backdoor into the NSA's fusion software would probably be the sort of thing that'd get you put on A List of Bad People... But they'd have to catch you first. Given the myriad of stories we see on slashdot about government incomptence with all things technological, I don't think it's beyond imagination that you could slip a bit of code past them. Hell, they'd b

      • by chord.wav (599850)
        Its like the holy grail of data analysis; transcending the boring bits of storage and indexing to the complex fun bits of trying to organize data and explore interfaces for making easy for humans to tag related 'facts' and associate them with others.

        It's called Facebook
      • by mrogers (85392)

        Its like the holy grail of data analysis;

        And just like the holy grail, it doesn't exist. Ever heard the expression "garbage in, garbage out"? Now imagine how that applies to a huge database of information compiled from diverse sources (including unverified, anonymous tips [aclu.org]), where nothing is ever thrown away, and where nobody's quite sure what they're looking for [wsj.com].

        The human brain is amazingly good at finding patterns - so good that it often finds patterns that aren't really there. Even with years of exper

  • The real issue at hand is not where the information is gathered, but how a tremendous amount of information can be organized and accessed in a way that actually helps avoid future terrorist attacks. As the police chief said, seemingly innocuous information might be connected to a threat, but then again, it might just be innocuous information. Burying ourselves in mountains of information, a majority of it innocuous, might actually work against us. There must be a way to catalog information so that connectio
    • by conlaw (983784)

      Burying ourselves in mountains of information, a majority of it innocuous, might actually work against us.

      It all depends on who you include in "us." If "us" is all of the people who might like to maintain our privacy just because it's not really the government's business what time we order pizza or what books we're reading today, having this overload of information might be helpful since the fusion centers could be so busy trying to organize it all that they'd never be able to interfere with our legal activities. On the other hand, if "us" is the general populace who would like to prevent terrorism, the ma

  • Scope Creep (Score:5, Informative)

    by iknownuttin (1099999) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:32PM (#22831554)
    FTFA [wired.com]:Jane Harman (D-California), a powerful force in intelligence matters and funding, pooh-poohed the ACLU's concerns, and said she supported both fusion centers, and civil liberties.

    "I was frustrated when I met with the [ACLU] report authors and they could not point to a single instance of a fusion center violating someone's civil rights or liberties," Harman said. "In fact, state and local laws and protections in place at many fusion centers are more rigorous than their federal counterparts."

    Ahem: California's Anti-Terrorism Information Center admitted to spying on anti-war groups in 2003. And Denver's police department built their own secret spy files on Quakers and 200 other organizations.

    It looks like there's already some scope creep. Does anyone else hear a voice in their head saying, "Slippery slope! What's happening to America!"

    Mental note: Jane Harman D-CA. Must tell CA relatives about this when her seat is up for reelection.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      "I was frustrated when I met with the [ACLU] report authors and they could not point to a single instance of a fusion center violating someone's civil rights or liberties," Harman said."

      If the public doesn't know about it, it didn't happen.
      /America does not torture
      //Even if we have to redefine torture
    • "I met with the [ACLU] report authors and they could not point to a single instance of a fusion center violating someone's civil rights or liberties..."
      And that's from a *Democrat*? In California??!1! That sounds like something I'd expect from Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly or Shawn Hannity, followed up by some, "If you have nothing to hide..." goodness.
      • by Creedo (548980)
        Welcome to the USA, where the right and left wing agree on only one thing: the need to strip the American public of freedom and privacy. The only thing that differs is what excuse they use.
    • Yes, tell them to vote for Jane... that someone sensible is in power.

      Why didn't you quote the ACLU response -- its very telling:

      Tim Sparapani, the ACLU's top legislative lawyer in D.C., bristled at Harman's remakrs. "Our prognosticating track record in identifying programs ripe for abuse of privacy and civil liberties is pretty solid," Sparapani wrote in an e-mail that listed several other programs ...
    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      "I was frustrated when I met with the [ACLU] report authors and they could not point to a single instance of a fusion center violating someone's civil rights or liberties," Harman said. "In fact, state and local laws and protections in place at many fusion centers are more rigorous than their federal counterparts."

      Of course there's been no 'single instance of a fusion center violating someone's civil rights or liberties' because they're not named 'fusion centers' yet. If there are no Siberian tigers livi

    • by nurb432 (527695)
      Too bad no one will listen, even with the proof right in their face, and just 'trust the government' instead, and call everyone that doesn't a 'tin foil hatter'.

      I wonder how many lists i'm on as a outspoken us citizen ( that for the record does still love/support his country, just not where its heading ), and how the data links up. Not that it would make a difference of course, just curious.
  • Smothered Hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:34PM (#22831562)
    When I was young the police used to watch over the people, now they're watching the people.
    • by couchslug (175151)
      "When I was young the police used to watch over the people, now they're watching the people."

      No one living is that old.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nbauman (624611)
      I don't know how old you are, but when I was young the police used to watch the people. My friend's father was sent to jail because of his Communist connections. My favorite physics teacher was blacklisted and had to leave the country because he couldn't teach here (he finally returned to teach my freshman physics course in 1959). They kicked the Communists out of the labor unions -- and the Communists (for all their faults) pushed the unions to drive a much better deal for the worker than they have today.
      • by headkase (533448)
        I was born in 1973 so I missed the McCarthy era. It may have just been me being young but I used to perceive that we had more liberties and rights pre-Bush.
        • by nbauman (624611)
          1973 was the date of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe vs. Wade, which gave us a right to abortion. There was a golden age of freedom for a while. But whenever a politician takes power, he takes away your rights to aggrandize his own power.
          The lesson is, you don't get freedom from the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. You have to fight for it.
  • Wired has an <a>article</a>
    Not fixed. The again, we don't read articles around here ;)

    on the national fusion centers in the US, which were created to aid intelligence-sharing in the fight against terrorism
    How much terrorism has happened recently? Hasn't enough resources been put into fighting it?

    but are increasingly being used to look at other sorts of crimes.
    Hmm... is this perhaps part of a "we're tough on crime" bullet to put on the election checklist? Or possibly a way to hand more power to the law enforcement?

    Just some things to ponder...
  • Its almost like we are all under suspicion of being criminals.

    Well, at least Manhattan hasn't been been turned into a maximum security prison...yet.
    • FTFA: And Denver's police department built their own secret spy files on Quakers and 200 other organizations.

      Its almost like we are all under suspicion of being criminals.

      Quakers! Have I missed some news item of Quakers becoming militant? What next, are the cops going to watch the Salvation Army now?!? Or members of the KISS Army?!?

  • by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:36PM (#22831580) Homepage
    Please start tracking me ... I am a firm believer in the non-violent overthrow of the United States Government. Politicans need to be changed like diapers, and often for the same reason.
    • Your premise or assumption, Good Citizen Russ+Nelson, is that the American election process still functions. Point of order:

      In the 2000 election, 175,000 uncounted ballots paved the way for the Bush coup.

      In the 2004 election, there was an 8 million vote variance: the exit polls indicated Kerry led Bush by 5 million votes, while Bush supposedly won by 3 million votes.

      With the concentration of the counting of over 100 million votes by four, I repeat, four voting machines companies (Hart InterCivic, ES

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:37PM (#22831588)
    Terrorism Terrorism Terrorism.

    I thought most people kept up with the Jones. The rest of the real world doesn't give a fuck about America and their bogey man lies about terrorism. They cried wolf too many times. When I hear this rhetoric I switch off.
    • Good sounds like you've seen the following http://zeitgeistmovie.com/ [zeitgeistmovie.com] Inside job all the way!
    • by chord.wav (599850)
      I think everybody, world-wide, should give a fuck about America and their bogey man lies about terrorism cause those lies are detonators for "preemptive" wars on foreign countries. It's not only their fate what's at stake here. It's everyone's.
  • ... usually end causing it. Wonder in which (or in how many) sci-fi stories about oppresive governments they got that idea, but sound a lot like taken from there.
  • 9-11 was a fluke. yet it has been used to systematically rape the bill of rights, that 'goddamn piece of paper' as our beloved leader calls it.

    until americans wake up, this country is going to hell. we are on a path that will make the ussr & east germany look like pussies. don't forget, torture is an american value now too. can't just use it on the really bad guys, or that would be discriminatory. gotta use it on everyone equally, because that's the new american way.

    have a great day
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @06:33PM (#22832270) Journal

      that 'goddamn piece of paper' as our beloved leader calls it.
      That "quote" keeps getting brought up, probably because it jives with your perceptions of President Bush.

      AFAIK he never said that.
      Here's what I had to say about it in Oct of 2006 [slashdot.org]
      Here's what factcheck.org has to say about it [factcheck.org]

      The guy writing capitolhillblue has a history of bullshit, retracted the story, then put it back online even though no one else could substantiate his story and every other blogger on the internet apologized for repeating it.

      Stop repeating one man's lie.
      • MOD PARENT UP. I don't like Bush either--I'm glad he's going to be replaced soon. Don't make up crap about him and his administration, though: that just makes people stop listening to even legitimate things you say when they find out about the bull...
      • by itwerx (165526)
        that 'goddamn piece of paper' as our beloved leader calls it.
        That "quote" keeps getting brought up, probably because it jives with your perceptions of President Bush.


        Doesn't matter if he really said them or not. The DC pre-crime unit has confirmed, based on his file, that there is a 95% probability he will say it in the near future.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:45PM (#22831638) Journal
    The NSA had been listening in our calls for decades. My understanding is that it was never used on internal threats. With the patriot act combined with W's/telecom illegal spying, that changed everything. In particular, most ppl do not remember, but about 2 weeks after patriot act was passed, the DOJ announced that they had busted a large gang that hailed from Venezuela and was simply passing drugs all over. Ok, that sounds like a good thing. But within another month after that, it was discovered that there was spying on a dem state senators in mass. The simple fact is, that DOJ and the white house can not be trusted. Even if Obama gets it, I would not want him to have this. Why? Because power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. W. and his henchman have been illegal throughout this admin. I expected that. But I believe that if we continue with this power, even the most honest of politicians will be corrupted.

    I have said it before, and I will say it here again. Take us back to where the NSA was quietly listening in, but only shared info when it pertained to an outside threat. For starters, all of their listening is done via computers. The DOJ should go back to requiring warrants, and the DOD should be bared from listening in within the USA (which, patriot act and several of W's orders gave permission to do). Then have the NSA back to being staffed ONLY by professionals and not the politicians that W installed. IOW, it is time that we return to a professional approach to intel, rather than the bunch of NAZI thugs that we have allowed to set up camp due to so many ppl being afraid.
  • Wrong impression (Score:2, Informative)

    by glitch23 (557124)

    Despite what the article states about the focus of these fusion centers on anti-terrorism, they do a lot of things which focus on domestic crimes. This can be anything from serial killers, drug trafficking, to serial robberies. This data is being aggregated at the fusion centers and the OneDOJ [washingtonpost.com] (among others) program is going to aggregate it again to make better sense of it so that inter-state crimes can be better investigated and solved by sharing the information. These fusion centers receive a lot of flak

  • Stasi Police (Score:4, Informative)

    by EEPROMS (889169) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @06:40PM (#22832312)
    The East Germans had the exact same thing called the Stasi Secret Police [wikipedia.org]. Your friends and neighbours even your relatives would pass on details about you to your local representative in the name of crime and social harmony. It worked great until those dam Americans stuffed it all up.........eh wait a minute.
    • May I recommend... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by StreetStealth (980200)
      ...the 2006 film The Lives of Others [rottentomatoes.com], which presents Germany's more recent past in a way that seems a lot more like a potential American future than the Godwinian parallels most people seem to draw.

      While I can't comment on the accuracy of the film's portrayal of the GDR in 1985 (it looked convincing, but I wasn't there), I can say its portrayal of a subtle, businesslike surveillance state, quite unlike the obviously super-evil third reich half a century earlier, seemed a lot more efficient in eliminating
    • by Marcika (1003625)
      Those "dam Americans" had precious little to do with it. It was the East German citizens themselves [wikipedia.org] who hastened the Stasi's demise. And it will have to be the US citizens who speak up against *their* Big Brother.
    • by chord.wav (599850)
      Germans had much cooler uniforms. And that's the only difference I can find.
  • It's too late (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JamesRose (1062530) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @06:51PM (#22832378)
    See the pattern yet. You stood there and let the Bush regime murder and torture people. What happened when they announced it? Nothing, becuase they just said "Well, you knew it was happening, if you really objected you should have stopped it" and so they didn't get away with it, they just changed the rules to allow it. If you let these people normalise it in the culture you're too late.

    In 5 years when this information is used to imprison people they'll stand there and say "Well you knew it was happening and you didn't stop it". One of the things I love about America is that they're so convinced they don't put up with any shit that when shit happens they either claim they want it to happen or ignore it. Stop waiting for them to announce that they're profiling you to object, you know it's happening, act now, FORCE CHANGE.

    I honestly don't care though, why would I care about a country who has allowed a million innocent iraqis die, torture people, attempt to bully the rest of the world, and then have people like Ann Coulter on their television channels saying that all camel jockies should be killed becuase they killed 3 thousand americans in Iraq.

    You gave up the rights of others to live, no one should ever do that.
  • We have one of those in our local government building. Down in the basement, behind an unmarked locked door with one way glass. They also don't participate in any of the state IT functions and is basically a standalone entity with its budget in the 'grey'.

    Saw the nice pretty lit up logo on the internal wall one day someone was exiting the area. Was thinking 'that nice, wonder how much that cost when no one gets to even see it'.

    (Posting anonymously for obvious reasons )
  • Stop telling me it's a conspiracy and tell me how they achieve the magic of the fusion.

    I have countless applications that could benefit from this research. I've got old school islands of data in "stovepiped" isolated products. I *might* be able to slap a semantic web layer around them but I really REALLY do not want to reinvent the wheel if my tax dollars paid for a good solution.

  • I love how my tax money goes to fund an illegal war and gather private information about me. From this point on, I'm redirecting my income and keeping my earned US income below taxable rates. I refuse to finance this shit. Enough is enough.

    We have been raped. THIS IS NOT THE COUNTRY WE SIGNED UP FOR. They are not holding their end of the Social Contract. This is just like the Red Scare 1 and Red Scare 2. Remember Sacco and Vanzetti? Remember Joseph McCarthy and all of his victims in the name of Communism? T
  • I think it all botlles down to the consent what terrorism really is! The definition of terrorism that is. I think it geographicly differs! Just my two cents:)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BountyX (1227176)
      In the eyes of the government it seems that Terrorism is anything that is against government interest.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

Working...