Central Texas recently became the home of a new fusion center, the Austin Regional Intelligence Center. Rest assured, activists from Operation Defuse and Texans for Accountable Government were there to make sure this fusion center wouldn’t repeat the same civil liberties and privacy violations as others in the past.

Enjoy the videos below which highlight some of the hard work that went in to making ARIC one of the weakest fusion centers in the country!

Here is the first testimony that was delivered on the fusion center coming to Austin. The council voted to approve 200k worth of federal grant monies to begin building the infrastructure on the center.

The privacy policy was discussed during Austin Public Safety Commission Meetings. When the Commission finally rubber stamped the privacy policy, the people got angry and we took our lobbying efforts directly to the council. Below are some videos of PSC hearings and some of the media coverage surrounding the events.

We then rallied our troops to show up at the city council meeting in which the council was set to vote on ARIC’s “interlocal agreement”, which would provide legislative backing to the 10 jurisdictions participating with the center.

One of our rallying cries

After a last minute open records request we confirmed what we thought all along, ARIC was going to be collecting information on more than just crimes.

Wouldn’t you know it, lobbied our butts off, the people showed up in mass, ans our hard work ended up paying off! TAG and ODF managed to prevent ARIC from housing a public health/medical analyst, ensured information would not be collected on non-criminal activities, and assisted in the creation of a privacy policy advisory committee that would be comprised of community representatives.

Check out this link – TAG Deliver Multiple Blows to Austin Regional Intelligence Center! – to get more details on the victories that TAG and ODF accomplished. Contact ODF or TAG if you need help on fighting fusion centers in your area!