(DHS) and Defense (DoD) today announced an initiative to grant select state and major urban area fusion center personnel access to classified terrorism-related information

DHS Announces New Information-Sharing Tool to Help Fusion Centers Combat Terrorism
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Release Date: September 14, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense (DoD) today announced an initiative to grant select state and major urban area fusion center personnel access to classified terrorism-related information residing in DoD's classified network.

Under this initiative, select fusion center personnel with a federal security clearance will be able to access specific terrorism-related information resident on the DoD Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet)—a secure network used to send classified data. This classified data will be accessed via DHS' Homeland Security Data Network (HSDN). DHS will be responsible for ensuring that proper security procedures are followed.

"This initiative reflects the federal government's strong commitment to improve information sharing with our state, local, and tribal partners," said DHS Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Bart R. Johnson. "Fusion centers are a critical part of our national security enterprise, and this new tool enables federal agencies to share information with these partners while utilizing our advanced technical capabilities for secure information sharing."

"With this action, DoD continues its work in supporting states and localities who are leading our efforts to secure the nation from domestic terrorism attacks, said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs Paul N. Stockton. "We look forward to exploring other opportunities where DoD can help our state and local partners effectively defeat terrorism."

This joint initiative will promote collaboration between DHS, DoD and other federal departments and agencies, enabling the trusted and secure exchange of terrorism-related information in order to detect, deter, prevent and respond to homeland security threats.

State and major urban area fusion centers provide critical links for information sharing between and across all levels of government, and help fulfill key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. This initiative will serve as a valuable resource to enhance situational awaeness and support more timely and complete analysis of national security threats.

Increasing the breadth of law enforcement that have access to terrorism-related data will further improve the ability of fusion centers to prevent, detect, deter, and respond to terrorist attacks, and advance the combined missions of DHS and DoD to protect the nation's security.

DHS and DoD remain committed to protecting privacy and civil liberties as well as data and networks in an increasingly vulnerable cyber environment.

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