By Shelby Sebens | Northwest Watchdog
An Oregon data collection center created to thwart terrorist threats but questioned for its effectiveness and potential invasion of privacy and violation of free speech, is hanging on by a thread.
The 2013-15 Oregon budget, which took effect July 1, does not include funding for the Oregon Terrorism Information Threat Assessment Network, one of several Federal Fusion Centers spread across 77 U.S. cities that collaborate with local law enforcement agencies on suspected terrorist threats. State officials hope for continued federal funds to keep it going, according to officials with the state legislative fiscal office.
Oregon Department of Justice communications director Jeff Manning said the agency received $54,617 in grants from the State Homeland Security Grant Program that reimbursed the program for invoices from January to April.
“That is enough to keep the fusion center up and running for now,” he said.
From Portland to Boston the effectiveness of these centers, along with their potential to violate free speech and privacy rights, is being questioned. Federal lawmakers critical of the programs have accused the centers, an aftereffect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, of collecting “crap intelligence.”
Proponents say the centers are essential to preventing potential terrorist attacks.
Contact Shelby Sebens at [email protected]
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