The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is the United States' central database for tracking crime-related information. Since 1967, the NCIC has been maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, and is interlinked with similar systems that each state maintains. Data is received from federal law enforcement agencies, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as tribal law enforcement agencies, railroad police, and non-law enforcement agencies, such as state and federal motor vehicle registration and licensing authoritiesTemplate:Citation needed.
The NCIC database was created in 1967 under FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. The purpose of the system was to create a centralized information system to facilitate information flow between the numerous law enforcement branches. The original infrastructure cost is estimated to have been over $180 million. In the mid-1990s, the program went through an upgrade from the legacy system to the current NCIC 2000 system. A 1993 GAO estimate concluded that in addition to the costs of the upgrades, the FBI would need to spend an additional $2 billion to update its computer system to allow all users workstation access.
The NCIC makes available a variety of records to be used for law enforcement and security purposes. These records are made up of a variety of forms of personal and property records.
- Convicted sex offenders
- Criminal conviction records
- Foreign fugitives
- Immigration violators
- Missing persons
- Parolees or people on supervised release
- Persons with active arrest warrants
- Persons with active protection orders
- Secret Service protective alerts
- Terrorist organizations and membership
- Unidentified human remains information
- Violent gang organizations and membership
- Firearms records, including lost or missing firearms
- Stolen, embezzled or counterfeit securities
- Stolen property
- Stolen vehicle and boat parts
- Stolen vehicles and boats
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has raised concerns over the validity of information in the NCIC database. The FBI had the administrative authority to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in the database, but was discharged from this role by the Department of Justice in 2003.