It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Imagine that somewhere close to your local community there exists a secret computer center. Equipped with powerful mainframe computers and the database integrating powers of XML, this government-funded facility gathers data from thousands of sources including local, state and federal law enforcement, social welfare agencies, hospitals, banks, telephone companies, ISPs, computer search engines, private security companies, schools--essentially an endless list. With its massive computing power, this secret outpost is able to search and sift this data using vaguely defined criteria like "suspicious activity" in order to identify individuals for even closer scrutiny. Finally, this computer center dispenses the results of its analyses to local, state and federal law enforcement and to the military so that they can take action against the citizens tagged as threats.
fusion centers suffered a setback when Congress de-funded TIA back in 2003 because of privacy and civil liberties concerns. But an idea that grabs so much government power at the expense of its citizens' privacy always has a phoenix-like ability to resurrect itself, and so the fusion center initiative has been reborn under the Department of Homeland Security's "Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative" and been provided with $380 million in funding for 40 installations throughout the country.
Say that you're planning to have a neighborhood get together. You head to the local supermarket and pick up a few of those big pork and beans cans and plenty of bottled water and soft drinks. Of course, you give the clerk your shopper card to save a few bucks. The record of your purchase heads to the supermarket's central database which they have patriotically agreed to share with the local fusion center. The out-of-the-ordinary purchase is flagged because the government is on the lookout for survivalist types who are stocking up for Doomsday and thus violating anti-hoading laws. Your bottled water purchase is cross-checked against other records.