Tuesday, Feb 25th, 2020 - 01:23:41

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Occupy - Daily kos Map

Occupy targeted by U.S. Patriot Act "Counter-Terrorism" Fusion Centers

'Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a nationwide "homeland security"/"counter terrorism" apparatus emerged. Components of this apparatus include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center, and state/regional "fusion centers." Fusion centers, by and large, are staffed with personnel working in "counter terrorism"/ "homeland security" units of municipal, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement/public safety/"counter terrorism" agencies. To a large degree, the "counter terrorism" operations of municipal, county, state and tribal agencies engaged in fusion centers are financed through a number of U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant programs. Initially, fusion centers were intended to be intelligence sharing partnerships between municipal, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement/"counter terrorism" agencies, dedicated solely to the dissemination/sharing of "terrorism"-related intelligence. However, shortly following the creation of fusion centers, their focus shifted from this exclusive interest in "terrorism," to one of "all hazards"-- an umbrella term used to describe virtually anything (including "terrorism") that may be deemed a "hazard" to the public, or to certain private sector interests. And, as has been mandated through a series of federal legislative actions and presidential executive orders, fusion centers (and the "counter terrorism" entities that they are comprised of) work-- in ever closer proximity-- with private corporations, with the stated aim of protecting items deemed to be "critical infrastructure/key resources." ...As an illustrative example of how fusion centers function, we will examine the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC, commonly known as the "Arizona fusion center")...'

'ACTIC was established jointly by then-Arizona Governor (and current U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary) Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) in October of 2004. ACTIC is best described as a "counter-terrorism"/"all-hazards" resources and information sharing center, consisting of personnel from more than 25 Arizona law enforcement/public safety entities and 16 federal agencies. Largely, local law enforcement personnel active in ACTIC (or other state/regional fusion centers) are employed in such "homeland defense"/"homeland security," "counter terrorism," or "intelligence" units of their respective agencies. These units, by and large, were created as "counter terrorism" entities in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Such local entities active in ACTIC include the AZDPS Intelligence Bureau, the Phoenix Police Department Bureau of Homeland Defense (PPDHDB), the Tempe Police Department Homeland Defense Unit, the Mesa Police Department Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Unit, and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. These local entities are joined through ACTIC with federal "counter terrorism" entities, which include the FBI Phoenix Joint Terrorism Task Force (Phoenix JTTF, of which PPDHDB is also a part), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. DHS) offices of Infrastructure Protection and Intelligence and Analysis, as well as U.S. DHS component agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While many agencies take part in ACTIC, the fusion center is managed primarily by the AZDPS Intelligence Bureau, the Arizona Department of Homeland Security (AZDOHS, the state agency that, through five Arizona "regional advisory councils," essentially acts as a bursar for U.S. DHS Arizona grant awards, and implements state "homeland security" initiatives promulgated by U.S. DHS) and the FBI (primarily involved in ACTIC through Phoenix JTTF. Such task forces are the primary vehicle for FBI involvement in fusion centers nationwide).'

'A quick note here on the mechanics of Joint Terrorism Task Forces: JTTFs may relay intelligence gathered at the local level to the FBI's National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF), which, according to the FBI, is comprised of representatives from at least 35 law enforcement/public safety agencies...'

'Perhaps the most widely utilized feature of ACTIC is the Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Program. The function of ACTIC TLOs is to disseminate ACTIC intelligence and "critical infrastructure/key resources" "threat and vulnerability assessments" within their respective law enforcement agencies, and to feed intelligence gathered by these agencies back into ACTIC, for the use of other ACTIC-engaged entities (both in the public and private sectors). There are roughly 800 active TLOs active in Arizona through ACTIC member agencies. Take a moment to consider this number. The total population of Arizona is roughly 6.5 million people-- nearly 4 million of whom reside in Maricopa County (primarily comprised of Phoenix and its suburbs). Another million reside in Pima County (primarily concentrated in Tucson and outlying municipalities). That leaves a remainder of roughly 1.5 million people, scattered throughout the state's remaining 13 rural counties. As such, there is one "terrorism liaison officer" for every 8,125 residents of Arizona, most of whom live in, or around, either of the state's two major cities-- neither of which has ever been the site of any substantial act of "terrorism..."'

'So, how do agencies active in fusion centers spend their U.S. DHS grant money? Records illustrate that, in Arizona for example, U.S. DHS grant streams are often expended on training, improved communications systems and sundry items associated with incidents that may generate mass causalities. Interestingly, records show that U.S. DHS grant funding has also been spent on programs dedicated to the monitoring and mining of information posted to social media... According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, in order to facilitate Dowhan's work PPD personnel regularly fed the "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" logs containing the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver's license/state identification numbers, and physical descriptions of citizens arrested, issued citations-- or even given warnings by police-- in connection with Occupy Phoenix. The vast majority of these citizens who had been arrested, or had other interactions with PPD, were cited/warned for alleged violations of the city's "urban camping" ordinance.'

'The fact that Dowhan was regularly provided these detailed logs is important to note, as records indicate that much of Dowhan's work for ACTIC/PPDHDB during 2011/2012 involved the monitoring of social media sites and other online forums-- such as Facebook pages and blogs-- associated with individuals and organizations involved in Occupy Phoenix. Records indicate that Dowhan would take information trolled from these "open source" [note: "counter terrorism" personnel refer to information culled from social media and other "open sources" as "open source intelligence"] resources and either distribute it immediately to fellow law enforcement/"counter terrorism" personnel in the form of "alerts," or include it in her sometimes daily "Occupy Phoenix Social Media and Events Updates," which were distributed to PPDHDB personnel and other TLOs...'

'It should be noted that, according to AZDPS Northern Intelligence District Commander, Captain Steve Harrison, who supervises AZDPS functions and personnel at ACTIC (as AZDPS is the managing agency of ACTIC, Harrison is the closest thing there is to an ACTIC personnel manager), while ACTIC personnel do monitor social media primarily for the purpose of tracking "criminals" and "criminal activity"-- as opposed to Dowhan's dedicated use of social media in tracking activists and activist activity-- some of Dowhan's online monitoring of activist social media may be considered an appropriate use of ACTIC resources. According to Harrison, preparation for "special events" (including large events, such as the Governor's "State of the State" address, other political rallies and large sporting events) falls under ACTIC's "all hazards" mission. However, said Harrison, the monitoring of such events is only intended to ensure public safety. According to Harrison, some public safety concerns related to protests may include the possibility of violent conflict between protestors and counter protestors, traffic disruptions, and considerations regarding food, water and toilet facilities for protestors.'

"We do use social media for criminal activity [...] I'm not aware of ever using it for activist or protestor events, other than to try and determine when and where they're going to go, and how many people are going to show up," said Harrison. "So, it's not uncommon for-- let's say there's going to be an event at the capitol-- a couple of years ago, we had all those high school students who started tweeting, saying 'hey, let's march on the capitol-- we'll meet down there at two o'clock.' That was kind of good to know, from a public safety standpoint, that we're going to have two thousand, or five thousand, students at the state capitol [Note: students from eight Phoenix high schools marched on the capitol in protest of anti-illegal immigration bill SB 1070 in March, 2011]. And so that is, I guess, the extent that we monitor it. I'm not aware of any instance where we would go, 'John Smith is an activist. I'm gonna go look up his Facebook information and'-- I hate to say-- 'track him.' We don't care, quite honestly-- I don't want to sound rude, but we don't really care."

'Evidently, not all ACTIC personnel are so scrupulous in their use of ACTIC resources where activists are concerned... Furthermore, speaking to AZDPS Northern Intelligence District Commander Harrison's assertion that ACTIC personnel "don't really care" about the activities of activists outside the realm of public safety concerns associated with large gatherings, consider this: records show that, thanks to the vigilance of ACTIC PPDHDB "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan, Terrorism Liaison Officers in the Flagstaff area were alerted when two members of Occupy Phoenix posted plans to travel to Flagstaff for Christmas, 2011 on Facebook. Furthermore, records show that Dowhan promptly re-notified Flagstaff TLOs when the Occupy Phoenix members altered their travel dates. None of this activity-- let alone the bulk of Dowhan's use of social media and other means in the tracking of activists-- falls under Harrison's definition of appropriate, public safety-related, activist social media monitoring. Nevertheless, records obtained by DBA/CMD show that Dowhan's, and ACTIC's, ability to troll Internet social media for "open source intelligence" took a massive leap forward in mid 2012...'

'The TPD grant application goes on to describe the mission of the regional intelligence analysts as being "information detection directed towards domestic and international terrorist threats; threats and current conditions on the U.S.-Mexican border; and assisting with the protection of our region's critical infrastructure [...]." This stated focus on "terrorist threats" is important to note, given the fact that TPD Regional Intelligence Analyst/ACTIC TLO Rios aided PPDHDB/ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan in gathering information on Occupy Tucson and tribal activists on a number of occasions in 2012... Like the SAS Memex Intelligence Center Module, OpenMIND is a tool that aids investigators in obtaining and processing vast amounts of information obtained from "open sources," such as Facebook and other Internet social media. According to 3i-MIND promotional material, OpenMIND utilizes user-programmed "customized collection robots" in collecting data from user-designated web resources. This collected data is then aggregated and analyzed by OpenMIND. OpenMIND presents users with intelligence products gleaned from this raw data, relating to Internet user relationships and patterns of behavior.'

'As such, it seems unlikely that-- even in the absence of the federal funds that initiated these 'web surfing' programs-- the SRAC "Regional Intelligence Analyst Project" or the TPD "Open Source Intelligence/Information Data Mining Program" will be discontinued. Rather, it seems costs associated with these programs will be shifted onto already-taxed local budgets. This is worth noting in light of the fact that many public school systems in southern Arizona can only afford to keep schools open four days a week. Nevertheless, the value of "open source intelligence" gleaned from Internet social media is of the utmost importance to Arizona fusion center "counter terrorism" personnel. Consider a December 23 email from PPDHDB Det. and ACTIC Intelligence Unit Terrorism Liaison Officer Wren, to his PPDHDB/ACTIC TLO colleagues, in which Wren reflected on the value of social media:

"Been on several FB [Facebook] pages today from O.P. [Occupy Phoenix] participants. They all seem to be talking about doing something like this [reference to a YouTube video clip of an Occupy San Francisco flash mob in which 100 'occupiers' peacefully danced in public]... no concrete dates set-- but the discussion is at a mall, post christmas [sic]. I know one girl sent this message out to a group called Occupy Phoenix Student Movement (appears to be high school and ASU college students / about 75 of them) and they were trying to drum up participation. The benefit we have going for us, is the coordination it takes to set up a flash mob (especially a dance routine like the one in the video) is pretty extensive. But just to create a 'flash mob' protest / sit-in would be a new tactic we haven't dealt with this group yet [sic]. I'll keep watching twitter and FB to see if this moves past the discussion phase, and I'll let you know when and where."

'The creation of ACTIC, and the more than 70 fusion centers currently in operation across the nation, was spurred by the implementation of the "homeland security" "information sharing environment" (ISE) between law enforcement/"counter terrorism" and intelligence agencies-- as well as private sector actors-- established through a series of federal legislative actions and presidential orders in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. The first of these pieces of federal legislation was the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001" (also known by the much more convenient and euphemistic acronym, "U.S.A. PATRIOT Act of 2001"), signed into law by then-President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The key contribution of the "Patriot Act" in the development of ISE was the loosening of restrictions on a broad array of law enforcement/intelligence agency information gathering and dissemination practices...'

'Perhaps the most important piece of federal legislation in the establishment of the ISE is the "Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004" (IRTPA). IRTPA, essentially an omnibus intelligence "community" restructuring bill affecting a broad array of domestic intelligence functions, established the cabinet-level Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Office of the National Director of Intelligence (ODNI). As laid out in IRTPA, the DNI "[serves] as head of the intelligence community." This "community" consists of 16 agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), DHS, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and numerous military intelligence agencies. As such, IRTPA designated the DNI as the chief "national security" intelligence advisor to the president, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. The DNI, per IRTPA, is also tasked with providing such intelligence to heads of federal executive branch agencies, the U.S. Congress and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. IRTPA also mandated the creation of several "counter terrorism" entities under the control of the ODNI. One such entity is the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), intended to be the nation's highest aggregator and clearinghouse for "counter terrorism" intelligence. IRTPA also authorized the DNI to open "National Information Centers" throughout the nation to facilitate in this strategy of information gathering and dissemination...'

[Note: 'ISC had previously existed prior to IRTPA as the "Information Systems Council," established by Executive Order 13356, which was issued on August 27, 2004 by then-President George W. Bush in response to recommendations of the 9-11 Commission. Executive Order 13356 contained many concepts that were formalized and expanded upon by IRTPA, including a forerunner to ISE as mandated through IRTPA. It is worth noting that the fledgling domestic "counter terrorism" information sharing environment called for through Executive Order 13356 was to be directed by the director of the CIA'].

'In August of 2007, with the signing into law of the "Implementing Recommendations of the 9-11 Commission Act of 2007" (9-11 Commission Act of 2007), the U.S. DHS secretary, working in consultation with the ISE program manager, was formally tasked with establishing the "Department of Homeland Security State, Local and Regional Fusion Center Initiative." As such, the 9-11 Commission Act of 2007 mandated that U.S. DHS would provide management support and training to fusion centers and their personnel. The law also required that U.S. DHS provide intelligence services to fusion centers and work to foster greater intelligence sharing between fusion centers and other relevant intelligence agencies within the ISE. Part of this DHS information sharing facilitation, as mandated by the 9-11 Commission Act of 2007, would include the dissemination and review, within the ISE, of "homeland security information, terrorism information, and weapons of mass destruction information" gathered by fusion center personnel. The 9-11 Commission Act of 2007 also explicitly directed the undersecretary of U.S. DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS I&A) to assign "officers and intelligence analysts" from approved DHS components to all fusion centers in order to meet the advisory/liaison duties laid out under the act. Approved DHS components from which personnel may be drawn are: DHS I&A, DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection (U.S. DHS IP, an agency under the U.S. DHS National Programs and Protection Directorate), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard, and other components "as determined by the Secretary." As such, the DHS I&A (through its State and Local Program Office) became responsible for managing and coordinating federal involvement in fusion centers nationwide. While the roots of fusion centers and ISE were anchored in concepts of terrorism prevention and terrorism-related "critical infrastructure/key resources" protection, the role of these information sharing cooperatives quickly shifted to an "all hazards/all crimes" approach through a series of presidential executive orders/homeland security presidential directives issued by former President W. Bush (the issuance of many of these executive directives was called for through either the "Homeland Security Act of 2002" or IRTPA). "All hazards/all crimes" is essentially an umbrella term used to describe virtually anything (including "terrorism") that may be deemed a "hazard" to the public, or to certain private sector interests...'

'On December 17, 2003, then-President W. Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7), calling for "critical infrastructure identification, prioritization and protection." HSPD-7 reinforced two previously introduced directives: the protection of "critical infrastructure" through public-private partnerships (as called for through a section of the "U.S.A. Patriot Act of 2001" entitled "Critical Infrastructure Act of 2001"), and the assessment and protection of "key resources" by U.S. DHS (as called for through the "Homeland Security Act of 2002"). As defined by the "U.S.A. Patriot Act of 2001," items of "critical infrastructure" are defined as: "systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters." As defined by the "Homeland Security Act of 2002," "key resources" are defined as: "publicly or privately controlled resources essential to the minimal operations of the economy and government." ...As a result of HSPD-7 and other presidential directives (including those issued by President Barack Obama), the stated purpose of protecting "critical infrastructure/key resources" (CI/KR) has come to serve as the single largest avenue for corporate involvement in the "homeland security" apparatus.'

'There are two primary domestic public-private intelligence sharing partnerships at work at the federal level: Infragard and the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC). Infragard is a public-private intelligence sharing partnership managed by the FBI Cyber Division Public/Private Alliance Unit (PPAU). As described by the FBI, 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." There are 86 Infragard chapters nationwide. These Infragard chapters serve as representatives of private sector "stakeholders" in the many of the nation's fusion centers... DSAC is a public-private intelligence sharing partnership between the FBI, U.S. DHS I&A and several of the nation's leading corporate/financial interests. Some of these corporate/financial interests comprise the DSAC Leadership Board. The DSAC Leadership Board consists of 29 corporations and banks, including several entities that have been the subject of OWS protests/criticism. Corporate/financial interests active in the DSAC Leadership Board include: Bank of America, MasterCard, Citigroup, American Express, Barclays, RBS Citizens, 3M, Archer Daniels Midland, ConocoPhillips, Time Warner and Wal-Mart. Along with DSAC chairmen from the FBI and U.S. DHS I&A, DSAC is co-chaired by a representative of these private sector interests-- currently Grant Ashley, vice president of global security for pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co.'

'It is worth noting that a number of corporations active in the DSAC Leadership Board also took part, along with several other banks and corporations, in the U.S. DHS Private Sector Information-Sharing Working Group. This working group, consisting of 79 representatives from 51 Fortune 500 corporations, was instrumental in drafting (through collaboration with U.S. DHS I&A, the U.S. DHS Private Sector Office and the U.S. DHS NPPD office of Infrastructure Protection) the "DHS Private Sector Information-Sharing Working Plan," which-- predictably enough-- called for the dedication of further resources to public-private intelligence sharing partnerships, largely through the national network of "fusion centers." Such corporate/financial interests partnered in this "working group" include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Business Executives for National Security, ASIS International, National Defense Industrial Association, Xcel Energy, Colonial Pipeline Company, Boeing, Microsoft, Motorola, Oracle Corporation and Google.'

+ Source: "The Homeland Security Apparatus: Fusion Centers, Data Mining and Private Sector Partners"

+ http://www.prwatch.org/news/2013/05/12122/homeland-security-apparatus-fusion-centers-data-mining-and-private-sector-partner

 

U.S. Police State Tactics


Government Surveillance of Occupy Movement

Special Report by Center for Media and Democracy and DBA Press

'On May 20, 2013, DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy 
released the results of a year-long investigation: "Dissent or Terror:
 How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With 
Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

 The report, a distillation of thousands of pages of records obtained
 from counter terrorism/law enforcement agencies, details how
 state/regional "fusion center" personnel monitored the Occupy Wall
 Street movement over the course of 2011 and 2012. The report also examines how fusion centers and other counter terrorism entities that 
have emerged since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have
 worked to benefit numerous corporations engaged in public-private
 intelligence sharing partnerships. 

While the report examines many instances of fusion center monitoring
 of Occupy activists nationwide, the bulk of the report 
details how counter terrorism personnel engaged in the Arizona Counter
 Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC, commonly known as the "Arizona fusion center") monitored and otherwise surveilled citizens active in
 Occupy Phoenix, and how this surveillance benefited a number of 
corporations and banks that were subjects of Occupy Phoenix protest 
activity. While small glimpses into the governmental monitoring of the Occupy Wall Street movement have emerged in the past, there has not been any reporting -- until now -- that details the breadth and depth with which the nation's post-September 11, 2001 counter terrorism apparatus has been applied to politically engaged citizens exercising their Constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights.'

 

+ REPORT: Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's 'Counter Terrorism' Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street
+ REPORT APPENDIX: open records materials cited in report.
+ PRESS RELEASE: "New Report Details How Counter Terrorism Apparatus Was Used to Monitor Occupy Movement Nationwide"(PDF)
+ SOURCE MATERIALS: almost 10,000 pages of open records materials are archived on DBA Press.

PRWATCH ARTICLES:

+ Part one: Dissent or Terror: How Arizona's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate Interests, Turned on Occupy Phoenix
+ Part two: The Homeland Security Apparatus: Fusion Centers, Data Mining and Private Sector Partners
+ Part three:  Fusion Center Obsession With OWS: Monitoring Jesse Jackson, NDAA Protestors and Anything Else Deemed To Be a Threat

First printed on December 31, 2012: "Operation Tripwire" -- the FBI, the Private Sector, and the Monitoring of Occupy Wall Street
+ Source: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Government_Surveillance_of_Occupy_Movement

 

Social Control & Anti-Terror Propaganda


'One thing is clear: a reading of fusion center and FBI records obtained by DBA/CMD shows that "counter terrorism" personnel employed in the complex web of the nation's "homeland security" apparatus have been all too eager to monitor-- to the point of obsession-- the Occupy Wall Street movement and report even the smallest possible sign of any potential threat to public safety-- be they perceived hazards to "public health," perceived hazards to law enforcement officer safety, or the possibility of "extremist" intervention in the movement. By and large, the most commonly expressed theme of "counter terrorism" personnel concern with the Occupy Wall Street movement was that of potential "anarchist," "hacktivist," or other "extremist" intervention.'

+ Source: http://www.prwatch.org/node/12123


 

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