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USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 There's a Secret PATRIOT Act, Senator Says Inside the FBI's Secret Terrorist Screening Center NCTC: The Biggest Spying Program You Probably Never Heard Of Nationwide SAR Initiative SAR Annual Report - 2012 FBI Brochure about the eGuardian Online SAR Reporting System Fusion Center Guidelines National Fusion Center Association U.S. Senate Investigation of Fusion Centers Treasury Dept - Financial Suspicious Activity Reporting Bank Data is Sifted by US in Secret to Block Terror Inside DCSNet - The FBI's Nationwide Eavesdropping Network Newly Declassified Files Detail Massive FBI Data-Mining Project CIA Chief: We'll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher Privacy Concerns Linger Over FBI's New Facial Recognition System FBI Data Warehouse System What the FBI Doesn't Want You To Know About Its "Secret" Surveillance Techniques As Secretive "Stingray" Surveillance Tool Becomes More Pervasive, Questions Over Its Illegality Increase Could the Pentagon's 1.8 Gigapixel ARGUS-IS Drone Camera Be Used for Domestic Surveillance? DHS Built Domestic Surveillance Tech into Predator Drones CIA's Gus Hunt On Big Data: We 'Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever' Big Data is a Big Deal at the CIA Federal Judge Finds National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Bans Them Judge orders Google to comply with FBI's secret NSL demands FBI Pursuing Real-Time Gmail Spying Powers as "Top Priority" for 2013 Secrets of FBI Smartphone Surveillance Tool Revealed in Court Fight FBI Wants $41 Million Boost To Cyber Monitoring Capabilities Former FBI Counterterrorism Agent Tim Clemente: 'No Digital Communication Is Secure' FBI may be reading emails without a warrant How the FBI's online wiretapping plan could get your computer hacked Obama's new FBI chief, James Comey, approved Bush's NSA warrantless wiretapping scheme 2013 Top secret FISA court order requiring Verizon to hand over all foreign and domestic telephone call data to the NSA on behalf of the FBI Dear Attorney General Holder: "As the author of the PATRIOT Act, I am extremely disturbed by what appears to be an overbroad interpretation of the Act" NSA, FBI tapping servers of leading Internet companies FBI Uses Drones in Domestic Surveillance, Mueller Says GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications EFF sues FBI over facial-recognition records U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement The NSA Is Giving Your Phone Records to the DEAThe Public-Private Surveillance Partnership FBI pressures Internet providers to install surveillance software How A 'Deviant' Philosopher Built Palantir, A CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut Did the FBI Lean On Microsoft for Access to Its Encryption Software? Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI's Unchecked Abuse of Authority Suspicious Activity Reports from Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center More About Suspicious Activity Reporting Could Google and the NSA Make Whistleblowers Disappear? National Security and Local Police DEA teaches agents to recreate evidence chains to hide methods Homeland Security wants to build national database using license-plate scanners FBI Law Enforcement National Data Exchange Contains 223 Million Records Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City Cops Must Swear Silence to Access Vehicle Tracking System The Hidden Role of the Fusion Centers in the Nationwide Spying Operation against the Occupy Movement and Peaceful Protest in America FBI's search for suspect in bomb threats highlights use of malware for surveillance Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist FBI facial recognition database that can pick you out from a crowd in CCTV shots is now 'fully operational' Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in U.S. Google's secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state New police radars can 'see' inside homes The DEA Is Spying on Millions of Cars All Over the U.S. Mysterious spy cameras collecting data at post offices FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities Leaked Documents Show FBI, DEA And U.S. Army Buying Italian Spyware The Postal Service Is Sloppy About Mass Surveillance CISA Security Bill: An F for Security But an A+ for Spying The Boxes That Can Steal Your Social Media and Dropbox Passwords for the Cops NSA and CIA Double Their Warrantless Searches on Americans in Two Years FBI Wants to Exempt Its Massive Biometric Database from Some Federal Privacy Rules This Isnít a Google Streetview Car, Itís a Government Spy Truck FBI Won't Say Whether It Bought These Gmail Password Stealing Boxes DEA Planned to Monitor Gun Show Attendees With License Plate Readers FBI hid microphones for secret warrantless surveillance near California courthouses US government pushed tech firms to hand over source code Top FBI Lawyer Argues Against Requiring Warrant for Data That Tracks Peopleís Location AT&T is spying on you for policeóand for profit - Hemisphere US Intelligence Unit Accused Of Illegally Spying On Americansí Financial Records Private companies look to cash in as homeland security brings facial recognition to U.S. borders ICE is about to start tracking license plates across the US Palantir Knows Everything About You Prisons Across the U.S. Are Quietly Building Databases of Incarcerated Peopleís Voice Prints Major DNA testing company is sharing genetic data with the FBI Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US A Border Officer Told Me I Couldnít Opt Out of the Face Recognition Scan. They Were Wrong.

Our Partners

Domestic Surveillance is a team sport. Our success depends upon our partnership with other federal, state, and local agencies. The USA PATRIOT Act was passed in 2001 for the purpose of "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism". This far-reaching law gave us a wide range of new tools to detect and prevent terrorism. Our partners transmit a steady flow of intelligence information 24-hours a day from across the nation. The incoming data is indexed, stored, and shared throughout the Intelligence Community on our massive cloud computing network.

Suspicious Activity Reporting - Fusion Centers

The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) is a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Department of Justice in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and state and local law enforcement partners. This initiative establishes a national capacity for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing SAR information gathered by fusion centers across the county.

Located in states and major urban areas, fusion centers are uniquely situated to empower front-line law enforcement, public safety, fire service, emergency response, public health, and private sector security personnel to gather and share domestic threat-related information.

Fusion Centers Location Map
map of fusion center locations Click on map to locate your local fusion center


Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Information Flow

Suspicious Activity Reporting SAR information flow diagram



National Counterterrorism Center

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) operates as a partnership of more than 16 organizations including the CIA, FBI, State Department, Defense Department, Homeland Security; and other agencies that provide unique expertise such as the Departments of Energy, Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation, and Health and Human Services.

The NCTC is the primary organization for analyzing and integrating all foreign and domestic terrorism-related intelligence possessed or acquired by the United States. It was also recently given the authority to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them.


FBI Terrorist Screening Center

FBI Terrorist Screening Center

The FBI Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was established in 2003 by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 which directed that a center be established to consolidate the government's approach to terrorism screening. The TSC maintains the U.S. government's consolidated Terrorist Watch list, a single database of identifying information about those known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activity.

Terrorist screening database information flow


FBI Surveillance Aircraft

FBI airplanes equipped with high-tech cameras and sophisticated surveillance technology capable of tracking thousands of cellphones below fly circular routes daily around many major U.S. cities tracking targets and gathering intelligence. The clickable map below shows the unusual flight patterns in some of the targeted areas. View full size map.


Other Partnerships We Can Publicly Disclose

FBI - The FBI is our go-to partner for much of our nation's domestic surveillance needs:

  • Information collected from the use of National Security Letters authorized by the PATRIOT Act
  • Phone calls and text messages from the FBI Digital Collection System (DCSNet)
  • "Google-like" search capability of citizen information from the FBI Law Enforcement National Data Exchange Program (N-DEx)
  • Cell phone location tracking from the Stingray "IMSI catchers" (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) masquerading as cell phone towers
  • Massive FBI data-mining project with more than 1.5 billion government and private-sector records about citizens and foreigners collected by the FBIís National Security Analysis Center (NSAC)

CIA - The Central Intelligence Agency has publicly committed to increasing its data collection efforts. CIA Chief Technology Officer Gus Hunt explains why: "The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time. Since you can't connect dots you don't have, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever."

DHS - TSA airline passenger data; surveillance data from unmanned domestic Predator B drones patrolling the northern and southern borders

Treasury - Cash Transaction Reporting and Suspicious Activity Reporting data

U.S. Postal Service - The exterior of every piece of paper mail processed in the United States is photographed and stored by the "Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program". Some post offices have installed hidden cameras outside to capture and record the license plates and facial features of customers leaving the parking lots.

United States Congress - In 2011, Congress extended three key provisions of the PATRIOT Act for another four years. (Senate vote / House vote).  In 2012, Congress reauthorized the FISA Amendments Act. (Senate vote / House vote).  In 2015, both houses of Congress passed the USA Freedom Act which legally codifies our dragnet data collection while happily appeasing the civil liberties folks (a double win!).

State/Local government - Electronic transit cards; electronic toll collectors; vehicle information and location data captured by license plate readers; public transportation video/audio surveillance systems

Yahoo - Secretly searches all of its customers' incoming emails for specific character strings provided by the NSA/FBI.


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