September 26, 2005


Fusion Center takes aim at terror: But secrecy alarms civil libertarians (Stephanie Ebbert, September 26, 2005, Boston Globe)

Three miles down the road from Shoppers World, in a nondescript office inside State Police headquarters, a team of young intelligence analysts is launching a new front against terrorism.

Called the Commonwealth Fusion Center, the operation was funded by the state last fall and officially opened in May with a mission: to provide statewide information sharing among local, state, and federal public-safety agencies and the private sector in coordinating intelligence against terrorism.

In a secretive operation that is alarming civil-liberties advocates, 18 civilian analysts examine criminal data and 23 intelligence officers -- State Police troopers who have the power to arrest -- work in the field. Raytheon Co. won a $2.2 million contract to develop intelligence-sharing software for the state that aims to integrate databases and help analysts root out criminal trends. [...]

Fusion centers are an emerging trend nationwide, and at least a half-dozen states have established such centers in recent years. Last year Governor Mitt Romney, who chairs an intelligence-sharing group for the Homeland Security advisory council, called for a national network of state-based fusion centers.

Most governors this side of Bill Richardson have blank spots where you're supposed to list foreign policy/national security experience. This and the Olympics fill that hole a bit for Mr. Romney.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 26, 2005 7:25 AM
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