January 5, 2012
Ronald Noble – the former head of the Secret Service, the BATF, and secretary general of Interpol – wants to create a fusion center with the ability to track and trace your email.
Noble says that although there is no known threat posed against the Olympics planned for 2012 in London, the state needs a fusion center to make sure.
“A smart terrorist would know that if the world’s attention is focused on something and they commit a terrorist act it will help them create the kind of fear that would make people want to leave London,” Noble told The Independent before visiting Scotland Yard to discuss arrangements for the Games.
“My concern is that the people planning that attack – that nuclear attack, that bio-terrorist attack, that attack that should concern us all as a world – would be able to plan it more effectively because we don’t have a network in place for tracing the source of email messages on the internet,” he said.
Noble’s proposed email fusion center will provide a place where “police around the world can go quickly and find out the source of any kind of message or communication that’s come across the internet.”
In order to calm the fears of civil libertarians, Noble emphasized that the fusion center “will only target specific, suspicious emails” and will not have the capability to “track all the messages from billions of innocent people.”
Interpol, however, is not above using its police powers politically. The Independent cites the example of Benny Wenda, a West Papuan who won asylum in the UK after having been persecuted by Indonesian authorities for calling for the independence of his homeland.
In 2011, Benny discovered that Interpol had listed a “red notice” against him following a request from the Indonesian police, according to Fair Trials International. “This red notice authorizes Benny’s provisional arrest with a view to extradition to face prosecution on the same politically-motivated charges that caused him to flee from West Papua,” notes the organization.
In the United States, so-called fusion centers are notorious for spying on political activists across the political spectrum – Muslim lobbyists in Texas, environmental activists in Pennsylvania, Tea Party supporters, anti-war and anti-death penalty activists around the country have been surveilled by fusion centers.
In Missouri, a report produced by a fusion center targeted Ron Paul supporters, pro-life activists and supposed militia members as potential terrorists. In 2009, the Virginia Fusion Center produced a similar report.
“These new fusion centers, over 40 of which have been established around the country, raise very serious privacy issues at a time when new technology, government powers and zeal in the ‘war on terrorism’ are combining to threaten Americans’ privacy at an unprecedented level,” the ACLU explained in 2007.
Two years later, in 2009, the number of fusion centers had grown to 72.
In 2010, the Department of Homeland Security boasted that it has worked diligently to integrate state fusion centers into a larger surveillance network – including participation by the FBI and the CIA – to “enlist all of our intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security capabilities” to supposedly prevent terrorist attacks that are, in fact, wildly overstated.
The DHS states that local fusion centers are now concentrating on “strategic priorities for federal government support” in the war on phantom terrorists. In short, fusion centers are a vital link in the effort to federalize local law enforcement and violate Posse Comitatus.
Ronald Noble’s admission that a global fusion apparatus is attempting to surveil email destinations without probable cause or – in the case of the United States – without court warrant is more evidence that the state will not rest until the internet becomes a vast and sprawling electronic panopticon, used not to catch violent terrorists but keep tabs on the political activity of people opposed to the government.