Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Reports: National Counterterrorism Center

National Counterterrorism Center gets insane new power over private data on Americans 

Barack Obama with (now former) NCTC Director Michael Leiter, center right, leadership and analysts in the secure video teleconference room at the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Va, Oct. 6, 2009. (Image credit: White House/Samantha Appleton)

By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
March 23, 2012

Just when you thought the ludicrously paranoid federal government of the United States of America couldn’t get any worse; Attorney General Eric Holder signed new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

The American Big Brother surveillance state has grown exponentially over recent years and it does not look like it is going to be slowing down any time soon with the new guidelines which allow private data on Americans can be held when there is no suspicion of them being tied to terrorism for a whopping five years.

Keep in mind, internet service providers just announced that they will soon be engaging in the largest digital spying operation in history, along with the National Security Agency (NSA) building a behemoth data center to process information, which could include just about anything.

Now the NCTC is getting even more power from the Obama administration, something akin to the George W. Bush-era “Total Information Awareness” program which was supposedly partially shut down by Congress.

For those who are unaware, the NCTC was established by Presidential Executive Order 13354 in 2004 and later actually codified by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. They are in an interesting position given that they report directly to the President and to the Director of National Intelligence, while following the policy dictated by the President and the National and Homeland Security Councils.

Their primary focus is the collection and sharing of information, supposedly related to terrorism, but thanks to the new guidelines, they really don’t need to even pretend it is about terrorism anymore.

Their information sharing reach goes far and wide, including the intelligence community and “State, Local, Tribal, and Private partners – in coordination with DHS, FBI, and other members of the ITACG Advisory Council,” according to the official website.

Anyone who has been following these issues likely realizes that the federal government just repackaged the Total Information Awareness program.

Now it exists as a much more distributed network of data harvesting and analysis systems involving both private and public entities. READ MORE

This is no joke.  I googled National Counterrorism Center and here is its official website and accompanying information.

The National Counterterrorism Center

Liberty Crossing 
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was established by Presidential Executive Order 13354 in August 2004, and codified by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA). NCTC implements a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission: “Breaking the older mold of national government organizations, this NCTC should be a center for joint operational planning and joint intelligence, staffed by personnel from the various agencies.”1 See Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, at p. 403.

The Director of NCTC is a Deputy Secretary-equivalent with a unique, dual line of reporting: (1) to the President regarding Executive branch-wide counterterrorism planning, and (2) to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) regarding intelligence matters. NCTC follows the policy direction of the President, and National and Homeland Security Councils.

NCTC is staffed by more than 500 personnel from more than 16 departments and agencies (approximately 60 percent of whom are detailed to NCTC). NCTC is organizationally part of the ODNI.

NCTC’s core missions are derived primarily from IRTPA, as supplemented by other statutes, Executive Orders, and Intelligence Community Directives.2 NCTC’s mission statement succinctly summarizes its key responsibilities and value-added contributions: “Lead our nation’s effort to combat terrorism at home and abroad by analyzing the threat, sharing that information with our partners, and integrating all instruments of national power to ensure unity of effort.”  READ MORE

NCTC Video
The NCTC Video The NCTC Video provides viewers with a short overview of the Center's mission and responsibilities in the fight against terrorism, a rare peek inside our state-of-the-art Operations Center, and insights into how the Intelligence Community and Law Enforcement work together to protect our country from the threat of terrorism.  Click here




Key Partners

NCTC comprises employees from many partner organizations and also maintains productive relationships with foreign partners. It is the diversity of backgrounds and disciplines fused together in an integrated environment that enriches the NCTC analysis, provides alternative perspectives, and breaks down cultural and physical barriers. The Center provides a unique environment to optimize the U.S. government's collective knowledge and formidable capabilities to identify and counter the terrorist threat to the nation.



Links to Partner Agencies

Central Intelligence Agency     Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation     Department of State
Department of Agriculture     Department of the Treasury
Department of Defense     National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Department of Energy     Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Department of Health and Human Services     U.S. Capitol Police
Department of Homeland Security    


2010 NCTC Report on Terrorism

 2010 NCTC Report on TerrorismConsistent with its statutory mission to serve as the U.S. Government's knowledge bank on international terrorism, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is providing this report and statistical information to assist academics, policy makers and the public in understanding the data. The statistical information included in this report is drawn from the data NCTC maintains on the website.  READ MORE

 The calendar provides information on known terrorist groups, individual terrorists, and technical information on topics such as biological and chemical threats.  Click here

Here are a couple stories from the mainstream media confirming the report on the new policy.

U.S. Relaxes Limits on Use of Data in Terror Analysis

Charles Savage, New York Times
March 22, 20121

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats.  READ MORE

Americans' data to be held longer under counterterrorism rules 

Reuters  -- March 23, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Counterterrorism officials will keep certain information about American citizens and legal residents for up to five years, rather than the previous six months, in a bid to do a better job tracking down terrorism suspects, according to new guidelines made public on Thursday.

The guidelines, approved by Attorney General Eric Holder, represent the latest step taken by the U.S. government to try to improve its ability to guard against terrorism amid an ongoing debate over whether efforts to bolster American security are coming at a cost of individual rights and privacy.

The guidelines state that certain data "may be retained and continually assessed for a period of up to five years" by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to determine whether the data relates to a terrorism threat. 

The Washington Post posted a copy of the guidelines.   READ MORE

PBS Report:  How the US. Government's 'Big Cauldron of Data" Affects Your Privacy
March 23, 2012



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