Template:Infobox organization InfraGard is a private non-profit organization run as a public-private partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The organization describes itself as an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. InfraGard states they are an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. As of December 2009, the organization reported membership at over 34,000 (including FBI).
Infragard began in the Cleveland, Ohio, Field Office in 1996, and has since expanded to become a national-level program, with Infraguard coordinators in every FBI field office. Originally, it was a local effort to gain support from the information technology industry and academia for the FBI's investigative efforts in the cyber arena, but it has since expanded to a much wider range of activities surrounding the nation's critical infrastructure.
The program expanded to other FBI Field Offices, and in 1998 the FBI assigned national program responsibility for InfraGard to the former National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) directed by RADM James B. Plehal USNR and to the FBI's Cyber Division in 2003.Template:Citation needed
Since 2003, InfraGard Alliances and the FBI said that they have developed a TRUST-based public-private sector partnership to ensure reliability and integrity of information exchanged about various terrorism, intelligence, criminal, and security matters. It supports FBI priorities in the areas of counterterrorism, foreign counterintelligence, and cybercrime.Template:Citation needed
Claims of The Progressive magazine Edit
In early 2008, Matthew Rothschild reported in the journal The Progressive that there were 86 chapters and 23,000 InfraGard members in various businesses involved in critical infrastructure in the United States, and that one InfraGard member had stated that he had been told in private that in the event of martial law being declared in the United States, the InfraGard members would have the right to "shoot to kill" and would not be prosecuted for this. The FBI has denied this, stating that "InfraGard members have no extraordinary powers and have no greater right to 'shoot to kill' than other civilians."
The Progressive also reported the concerns of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that there "is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate TIPS program, turning private-sector corporations — some of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customers — into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI".
See also Edit
- MATRIX – Information sharing partnership between various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies
- Operation TIPS – Program to have citizens provide information to law enforcement and intelligence agencies
- Terrorism Liaison Officer
- John P. Mello Jr., "Taking a Byte out of Crime - FBI's new computer network about cyber crime", CFO magazine, March 2001
- Andrew F. Hamm, "FBI to valley: Tell us about attacks", San Jose Business Journal, June 28, 2002
- General Accounting Office (now Government Accountability Office), "Critical Infrastructure Protection: Significant Challenges in Developing National Capabilities" (pdf), April 2001
- Richard Thieme, "Center of Attention: An Interview with Ron Dick of NIPC", "Thiemeworks Interviews", 2001
- "InfraGard: Ten Years and Going Strong", FBI press release, October 4, 2006
- Dan Verton "FBI Teams with Business to Fight Cybercrime", Computerworld, January 9, 2001
- ARRL News "FBI's 'InfraGard' Program Courts Amateur Radio as Ally", ARRL News Jul 21, 2006
- Bob Evans, "Business Technology: Security Tips That Will Scare--And Help--You", InformationWeek, August 29, 2005
- D. Ian Hopper, "Rather than breaking down doors, authorities take down walls in overture to IT professionals", CNN.com, April 28, 2000