Legislation Aims to Shut Down Domestic Intel Office

The National Applications Office, part of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, is tasked with helping law enforcement and homeland security agencies make use of intelligence assets, including military satellites. 
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

The top lawmaker on a House intelligence panel has introduced bills to eliminate the Department of Homeland Security office charged with connecting domestic law enforcement with intelligence community assets inside the Unites States.

Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., Chair of the Homeland Security Intelligence and Terrorism Risk Assessment Subcommittee, introduced bills June 4 to shut down and kill the funding for the National Applications Office, part of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, which is tasked with helping law enforcement and homeland security agencies make use of intelligence assets, including military satellites.

In a statement, Harman said that if powerful military satellites were directed at one’s neighborhood or home without an adequate legal framework, “I daresay the reaction might be that Big Brother has finally arrived and the black helicopters can’t be far behind. Yet this is precisely what the Department of Homeland Security has done in standing up the benign-sounding National Applications Office, or NAO.” She said DHS has requested funding for the NAO in the classified annex to its FY2010 budget request.

“In its current form, the NAO would enable a group of undefined law enforcement and homeland security ‘users’ greater access to imagery collection capabilities of the intelligence community—purportedly to supplement data already available during disasters or to aid in ‘investigations,’” Harman said. “It would serve as a clearinghouse for requests by law enforcement, border security, and other domestic homeland security agencies to access real-time, high-quality feeds from spy satellites. Except law enforcement officials haven’t asked for the additional capability and major law enforcement organizations do not believe it is necessary.”

Related