Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress [June 10, 2011] [open pdf - 446KB]
"The imperative for the exchange of terrorism-related intelligence information among law enforcement and security officials at all levels of government is founded on three propositions. The first is that any terrorist attack in the homeland will necessarily occur in a community within a state or tribal area, and the initial response to it will be by state, local, and tribal emergency responders and law enforcement officials. Second, the plotting and preparation for a terrorist attack within the United States (such as surveillance of a target, acquisition and transport of weapons or explosives, and even the recruitment of participants) will also occur within local communities. Third, '[i]nformation acquired for one purpose, or under one set of authorities, might provide unique insights when combined, in accordance with applicable law, with seemingly unrelated information from other sources.' […] The Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI) is an effort to have most federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement organizations participate in a standardized, integrated approach to gathering, documenting, processing, and analyzing terrorism-related SARs. The NSI is designed to respond to the mandate of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458), for a 'decentralized, distributed, and coordinated [information sharing] environment ... with 'applicable legal standards relating to privacy and civil liberties.'' This report describes the NSI, the rationale for the sharing of terrorism-related SARs, and how the NSI seeks to achieve this objective. It examines the privacy and civil liberties concerns raised by the initiative and identifies other oversight issues for Congress."
|Report Number:||CRS Report for Congress, R40901|
|Author:||Bjelopera, Jerome P.|
|Publisher:||Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service|
|Retrieved From:||Via E-mail|