EPIC FOIA Notes #15
April 30, 2008
FBI Restricts Application of Virginia Transparency and Privacy Laws for Fusion Center
for full document]
A document obtained
by EPIC from the Virginia Department of State Police reveals that the State Police entered into a secret agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to impose federal restrictions on rights granted by Virginia open government and privacy laws.
Federal influence on limitations imposed upon state open government and privacy laws.
The Dept. of Homeland Security has awarded over $380 million in grants to local and state law enforcement to build "fusion centers," interconnected computer networks that compile information about ordinary citizens. Privacy advocates have criticized fusion centers, and public statements from state fusion employees have raised questions regarding federal involvement in efforts to exempt fusion centers from state open government and privacy laws.
The White House's official position requires fusion centers to respect state open government and privacy laws, but this agreement between the Virginia State Police and the FBI contradicts the official policy.