Colorado counterterrorism officials used the 9/11 anniversary to let people electronically report “suspicious activity,” the Denver Post reports. “One person can make a difference in thwarting terrorism,” State Patrol Chief Mark Tostel said. Civil-liberties leaders denounced the move. The system lets anybody with Internet access send a report and photos (via www.ciac.co.gov) documenting anything that strikes them as suspicious. Suspicious activity may include “unusual requests for information,” “unusual interest in high-risk or symbolic targets,” “unusual purchases or thefts,” “suspicious or unattended packages,” “suspicious persons who appear out of place” or people acquiring weapons, uniforms, or fraudulent identification.
A report sent through the system would ping the e-mail of a law enforcement staffer at an intelligence relay station. Multi-agency teams in this “fusion” center, with access to classified data, then would review the report, perhaps running license-plate or other personal- data checks, and could notify the FBI. About 300 tips about possible terrorism-related activity in Colorado, fielded at the center over the past 18 months, were deemed significant enough to forward to the FBI. “I hate it,” said Cathryn Hazouri of the American Civil Liberties Union. “This is encouraging people to spy on one another.”