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Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.
InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.
InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats.
InfraGard is not readily accessible to the general public. Its communications with the FBI and Homeland Security are beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act under the “trade secrets” exemption, its website says. And any conversation with the public or the media is supposed to be carefully rehearsed.
“The meeting started off innocuously enough, with the speakers talking about corporate espionage,” he says. “From there, it just progressed. All of a sudden we were knee deep in what was expected of us when martial law is declared. We were expected to share all our resources, but in return we’d be given specific benefits.” These included, he says, the ability to travel in restricted areas and to get people out.
But that’s not all.
“Then they said when—not if—martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn’t be prosecuted,” he says.
ACLU | Emerging "Surveillance-Industrial Complex" Is Turbo-Charging Government Monitoring, ACLU Warns in New Report
The government is rapidly increasing its ability to monitor average Americans by tapping into the growing amount of consumer data being collected by the private sector, according to a major report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.
"The U.S. security establishment is reaching deeper and deeper into our private lives by forcing the corporate sector to inform on the activities of individuals," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "The government has always recruited informers to help convict criminals, but today that recruitment is being computerized, automated, and used against innocent individuals on a massive scale that is unprecedented in the history of our nation."
[common purpose] rhetoric of the quisling
You are the Chosen, the voice of the New Age, the Leader of the Future. The Rules are not for such as you...
[Update: 20:50, London time - Common Purpose seem to be interested in the post, having made a visit we tracked back.]
Though not directly concerning our North American and Antipodaean friends, this actually does concern them very much because they are very much part of the thrust for:
And what exactly is this common purpose? They state it themselves:
'Leading beyond Authority'
Originally posted by kerontehe
reply to post by AWingAndASigh
Maybe not if you read the original article. These are reps from business and industry that have been deemed "critical infrastructure".
Water, power, agriculture, transportation...
I saw no language that claimed they were "deputized" or granted "shoot to kill" rights.
Any business or individual has the right to use force to protect itself if it feels threatened whether martial law is in force or not.
Would you not report illegal activity or use force to protect yourself or your assets?
Source | TheProgressive | Exclusive! The FBI Deputizes Business
“The FBI should not be creating a privileged class of Americans who get special treatment,” says Jay Stanley, public education director of the ACLU’s technology and liberty program. “There’s no ‘business class’ in law enforcement. If there’s information the FBI can share with 22,000 corporate bigwigs, why don’t they just share it with the public? That’s who their real ‘special relationship’ is supposed to be with. Secrecy is not a party favor to be given out to friends. . . . This bears a disturbing resemblance to the FBI’s handing out ‘goodies’ to corporations in return for folding them into its domestic surveillance machinery.”
InfraGard is an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and the private sector. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard Chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories. Each InfraGard Chapter has an FBI Special Agent Coordinator assigned to it, and the FBI Coordinator works closely with Supervisory Special Agent Program Managers in the Cyber Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
While under the direction of NIPC, the focus of InfraGard was cyber infrastructure protection. After September 11, 2001 NIPC expanded its efforts to include physical as well as cyber threats to critical infrastructures. InfraGard’s mission expanded accordingly.
In March 2003, NIPC was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which now has responsibility for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) matters. The FBI retained InfraGard as an FBI sponsored program, and will work with DHS in support of its CIP mission, facilitate InfraGard’s continuing role in CIP activities, and further develop InfraGard’s ability to support the FBI’s investigative mission, especially as it pertains to counterterrorism and cyber crimes.
InfraGard is an organization dedicated to the protection of the United States and the American people. In order to maintain a level of trust within the membership, all applicants undergo a background check performed by the FBI (for this reason InfraGard membership is currently limited to United States citizens). Applications are then screened according to a defined criteria and then passed to the local chapter for final acceptance (individual chapters may have more strict criteria).
Along with your InfraGard membership comes great responsibility. We value active members who are willing to devote their time, effort and talent to help build this organization and achieve our goals of protecting the American people. You will be a representative of the nation's largest volunteer organization dedicated to critical infrastructure protection.
Originally posted by goosdawg
And the fact that this organization is exempt from oversight under the FOIA doesn't in the least worry you to some degree?