GovLaunch: E-Neighborhood Watch Now Covers Half of the United States

Nextgov reports that a federally funded program called The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI), which trains law enforcement officials how to electrically share tips and threats through a standard, searchable format, is now in effect in half of the states.

Part of the NSI history comes from recommendations in the 2004 9/11 commission report, which recommends improved information sharing between local and federal jurisdictions. Agencies involved with NSI must use the same data fields and vocabulary, although they can use different hardware.

Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Kshemendra Paul, stated in an interview with Nextgov,”NSI is really a great example of intelligence-based policing.”

The program is also closely tied to the DHS campaign, “If you see something, say something.” Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have expressed concern about NSI, stating that NSI may unfairly attributed harmless tourist behaviors to signs of terrorism. Nextgov reports, “Federal officials say the program instructs officers to spot behaviors, not people, that research has shown are indicative of criminal activity, or “the what, not the who,” as explained in the Information Sharing Environment 2011 annual report to Congress, released June 30.”

Have you participated in this program? How are we sure we are validating the kind of information we report?

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