In the month of February, we have received multiple notices from U.S. Intelligence Fusion Centers requesting the removal of documents from our archive. The notices originated from the following entities:
Virginia Fusion Center
The following notice was received on February 16, 2010. The document in question is the Virginia Fusion Center Bloods Street Gang Intelligence Report, a 27-page law enforcement guide regarding gang identification, history, and activities.
Subject: Please contact me reference this document
From: “Havasy, Richard A., SA” <Rick.Havas[at]vsp.virginia.gov>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 10:06:03 -0500
Could you please give me a call or provide a number where I could contact you reference the below link. Code of Virginia Title § 52-48 d, provides certain protections for Virginia Fusion Center documents and I would like to discuss them with you.
S/A R.A. Havasy Jr.
Virginia Fusion Center
(804) 674-2204 Office
(804) 674-2983 Fax
The Virginia Fusion Center Security Officer cites Virginia Title § 52-48 which states:
§ 52-48. Confidentiality and immunity from service of process; penalties.
A. Papers, records, documents, reports, materials, databases, or other evidence or information relative to criminal intelligence or any terrorism investigation in the possession of the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center shall be confidential and shall not be subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§2.2-3700 et seq.) or the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.). The Department shall conduct an annual review of information contained in any database maintained by the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center. Data that has been determined to not have a nexus to terrorist activity shall be removed from such database. A reasonable suspicion standard shall be applied when determining whether or not information has a nexus to terrorist activity.
B. No person, having access to information maintained by the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center, shall be subject to subpoena in a civil action in any court of the Commonwealth to testify concerning a matter of which he has knowledge pursuant to his access to criminal intelligence information maintained by the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center.
C. No person or agency receiving information from the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center shall release or disseminate that information without prior authorization from the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center.
D. Any person who knowingly disseminates information in violation of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If such unauthorized dissemination results in death or serious bodily injury to another person, such person is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
The officer makes reference to § 52-48 d specifically, which states that any person who knowingly disseminates information “in violation of this section” is guilty of a misdemeanor, or potentially a felony. However, the wording in part C, which states that the confidentially requirement binds any “person or agency receiving information from the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center”, does not seem to apply to members of the general public or media. In fact, any limitation on the ability to disseminate information by members of the media or general public would be a violation of their First Amendment rights and other media outlets have published Virginia Fusion Center documents protected by the same laws without difficulty.
Rocky Mountain Information Network
The following notice was received on the morning of February 8, 2010. The document in question is the Surenos 2008 Special Gang Report, a 58-page law enforcement guide to Mexican street gangs specifically focusing on the Surenos. The Rocky Mountain Information Network, a component of the Regional Information Sharing Systems, is essentially a regional fusion center, integrating data from participating authorities throughout specific regions of the U.S. and Canada. According to the Surenos report:
Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN) is one of six regional projects in the United States that comprise the Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS). Each project links law enforcement agencies from neighboring states into a regional network that interacts with law enforcement member agencies nationwide. Funded by Congress through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, RISS provides secure communications, information sharing resources and investigative support to combat multi-jurisdictional crime. RMIN is headquartered in Phoenix and serves more than 1,040 law enforcement member agencies in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada.
Subject: Surenos Publication
From: “Mark Fritts” <mfritts[at]rmin.riss.net>
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 2010 10:34:42 -0700
My name is Mark Fritts and I am the Manager who is responsible for the Surenos publication that you have displayed on your public web site. I am formally requesting you to remove this from your public site. This was a law enforcement sensitive publication that was not intended for public view. if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Field Service Manager
Rocky Mountain Information Network
800-821-0640 ext 126
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