The Department of Defense announced today that it will use the FBI-owned and maintained eGuardian suspicious activity reporting system as a long-term solution to ensure access to appropriate law enforcement related threat information in support of the department’s missions.
The announcement follows two years of analysis and a six-month pilot program designed to determine the best replacement for the Threat and Location Observation Notice (TALON) reporting system, which was terminated in Aug. 2007. Adoption of eGuardian also follows recommendation this past January by the DoD Independent Review related to the Ft Hood shootings that DoD “adopt a common force protection threat reporting system for documenting, storing, and exchanging threat information related to DoD personnel, facilities, and forces in transit.”
Data will only be input into eGuardian by authorized personnel who are fully trained with regard to the attorney general’s guidelines and FBI procedures regarding the protection of civil liberties. All data will be reviewed to ensure that information based solely on the ethnicity, race or religion of an individual, or solely on the exercise of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, is not introduced into eGuardian. “The eGuardian system incorporates appropriate safeguards for civil liberties,” wrote Gates in the memo announcing eGuardian’s implementation.
The FBI developed eGuardian in 2008 to provide the law enforcement community an unclassified near real time information sharing and threat tracking system. DoD law enforcement and security personnel will be able to share potential terrorist threats, terrorist events, and suspicious activity information with other state, local, tribal, federal law enforcement agencies, state fusion centers, and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Gates directed that the under secretary of defense for policy establish a plan and issue policy and procedures for the implementation of the eGuardian system as DoD’s unclassified suspicious activity reporting system no later than June 30, 2010. A copy of the implementation memo can be found at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100521SAR2.pdf .