"After the events of 9/11, the number of fusion centers rapidly multiplied. As a result, state and local agencies that operated the centers adopted a myriad of policies. This thesis seeks to answer how fusion centers can implement policies as to operational structure and transparency that simultaneously safeguard against abuse of citizens' privacy while facilitating the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of information. Two methods of research are utilized: policy analysis and policy options analysis. This thesis examines existing federal guidelines, federal case law, and various federal statutes and regulations. Moreover, the thesis explores three policy options as possible decision-making tools for fusion centers: 1) mandatory federal guidelines, 2) imposition of a balancing test and administrative review process, and 3) a compulsory reasonable-suspicion requirement. In the end, this thesis recommends imposition of all three policies."
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