Twenty-Five Recommendations for Fusion Centers in TCP’s New Report

Fusion centers, information-sharing hubs designed to pool the knowledge of state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, have expanded significantly in the last decade, both in number and in scope. Initially intended to better coordinate information about possible terrorist activities, there are now 77 fusion centers working to collect a wide array of information about individuals from sources ranging from law enforcement files to private sources of information such as financial records and medical histories. TCP’s new report, “Recommendations for Fusion Centers,” highlights how the collection, use and storage of such massive amounts of personal and potentially sensitive information can threaten constitutional rights to privacy, equal protection and freedom of expression, and offers recommended policy changes to better safeguard civil liberties. A panel of experts – David Gersten, Director of Programs, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Department of Homeland Security; Sameera Hafiz, Policy Director, Rights Working Group; Mary McCarthy, former Associate Deputy Inspector General, Investigations, Central Intelligence Agency; former Senior Director for Intelligence Programs, National Security Council; Jim Trainum, Detective (ret.), Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department; and Sharon Bradford Franklin (moderator), Senior Counsel, The Constitution Project – discussed various concerns and recommendations for fusion centers at an event held in conjunction with the release of the report. To listen to the audio from the event click here. Lawfare and The Crime Report commented on the report. The Huffington Post referred to TCP’s “Recommendations for Fusion Centers” in an article about the recently released Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee report, which corroborated many of the findings and suggestions found in our report.

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