The new “fusion centers,” the spy centers of the emerging surveillance network, have been created without any public process. Their operations remain opaque for two critical reasons.
First, the organizational structures of surveillance centers entangle federal, state and local law enforcement, creating ambiguous lines of authority and accountability. Second, their policies impede, rather than encourage, transparency.
Their complicated web of affiliations and allegiances makes it difficult to know who is in charge, providing guidance, direction and discipline when necessary. And the secrecy which surrounds their operations forces the public to depend on “leaks” to understand what the “Little Brothers” that now dot the landscape consider “suspicious activity.”
Fusion centers are largely left to police themselves, and the public is left in the dark.
Read The Constitution Project's report: “Principles for Government Data Mining: Preserving Civil Liberties in the Information Age”