WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate report concludes that a multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created after 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism.
The program was intended to link local, state and federal anti-terror efforts. Instead, the bipartisan report says the program has resulted in huge costs for data-mining software and flat screen televisions and two fully equipped SUV's used for commuting.
The scathing review of the Department of Homeland Security says much of the money wound up being used for local crime fighting.
The cost of so-called fusion centers set up in each state is unclear. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments.
The agency disputes the findings, saying it is based on inaccurate and dated data.