Tell Your State Representatives: Shut Down Maine’s Intelligence Fusion Center

The surveillance apparatus in the United States, at the local, state, and federal levels, has been out of control for a long time. In the last two decades, the intelligence community and law enforcement at all levels of government have greatly increased their sharing of sensitive information about people. All too often, bad information passes back and forth, and these arrangements expand political policing and surveillance of activists and protests.

The beating heart of the mess is the fusion centers. Across the United States, there are at least 78 fusion centers that were formed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the war on terror and the rise of post-9/11 mass surveillance. Since their creation, fusion centers have been hammered by politicians, academics, and civil society groups for their ineffectiveness, dysfunction, mission creep, and unregulated tendency to veer into political policing.

Now, Maine has the chance to shut down its costly, ineffective, and invasive fusion center—and we need your help.

Maine state representative Charlotte Warren has introduced LD1278 (HP938), or An Act To End the Maine Information and Analysis Center Program. The bill would close the Maine Information and Analysis Center (MIAC), Maine’s only fusion center.

MIAC recently came under scrutiny for sharing dubious intelligence generated by far-right wing social media accounts with local law enforcement. Specifically, the Maine fusion center helped perpetuate disinformation that stacks of bricks and stones had been strategically placed throughout a Black Lives Matter protest as part of a larger plan for destruction. This caused police to plan and act accordingly. To put it plainly, a government intelligence agency spread fake news that could have caused physical harm to people exercising their First Amendment rights. There are better things Maine could be spending public money on than a government-funded misinformation apparatus. Join us in telling your state representative to vote yes on LD1278.

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