Report: ‘Fusion centers’ called new domestic spying machine

Hot on the heels of an investigative series by The Colorado Independent and affiliates on “fusion centers" comes a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Washington, D.C., defining “fusion center" as part of a new domestic intelligence system initiated by the federal government and local law enforcement authorities.

The ACLU’s D.C. office published a first report in 2007, but followed it up with the release of new findings Tuesday:

The nation’s growing network of “fusion centers” is part of an incipient de facto domestic intelligence system, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Today the ACLU released a report detailing spying on Maryland peace demonstrators, a mysterious domestic-spying scandal at a California military base and other recent incidents, confirming that its warnings about fusion centers were coming true.

During a conference call on the issue, Caroline Fredrickson, director of the D.C. office, said the following:

It’s become increasing clear that fusion centers are part of a new domestic intelligence apparatus.

Colorado’s own fusion center, Colorado Information Analysis Center, otherwise known as CIAC, will be stepping up operations during the Democratic National Convention in August.

Other coverage of the centers includes:

Minnesota Independent: You don’t know MN-JAC: Anti-terror fusion center grapples with security flaw, new privacy policy

Iowa Independent: Iowa intelligence fusion center ‘connects the dots’

Michigan Messenger: Michigan’s invisible intelligence agency

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at