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THOUGHT PROVOKING JOURNALISM
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are we safer?

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Students should be aware that websites often present only one view of an issue. Encourage students to think about and question websites as they are reviewing them. Some guiding questions they can use are: What did you learn from this site? What didn't you learn from this site? Who sponsors this site? What bias might the sponsor have? How current is the site?

 

FUSION CENTERS

Department of Homeland Security: State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers
A description of the network of fusion centers that have been set up in response to the threat of domestic and foreign terrorism

Los Angeles Times: "'Fusion centers' gather terrorism intelligence -- and much more"
This article describes the process by which raw data from local law enforcement is funneled to fusion centers across the United States for analysis.

Time: "Fusion Centers: Giving Cops Too Much Information?"
This piece raises the question of whether fusion centers produce a possible overload of data which could hamper the intelligence community's ability to effectively process potential threats.

American Civil Liberties Union: "What's Wrong With Fusion Centers"
This is the executive summary of a larger report, highly critical of the U.S. government's use of fusion centers and possible abuses that have resulted or could potentially appear.

 

SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORTS

Department of Justice: The Nationwide SAR Initiative
A description of the process by which SARs are created, disseminated and processed on a national scale

Department of Homeland Security: Privacy Impact Assessment
This 2008 report assesses the nature of SARs and their potential impact on individual privacy and the intelligence-gathering process.

Transportation Security Administration: "Transportation Suspicious Incidents Report"
This declassified report provides an example of the standards and methods of a Suspicious Activity Report.

Department of Justice: "Suspicious Activity Reporting Process Implementation Checklist"
A description of the process in which a Suspicious Activity Report is utilized as an intelligence-gathering mechanism, and a justification for its use

Center for Investigative Reporting: "Price of Peril"
This interactive report examines homeland security expenditures by state and provides access to a wide array of state and federal documents/resources on homeland security programs.

 

TOP SECRET AMERICA

Washington Post: "Top Secret America"
This investigation by Dana Priest uses maps, articles and other resources to show the extent of America's national security apparatus.

 

PURCHASING THE FILM

Are We Safer? can be purchased from PBS Educational Media.

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