Joint Protection Enterprise Network

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Joint Protection Enterprise Network (JPEN) is "a cross-service network that shares sensitive but unclassified information among U.S. Department of Defense installations. The Web-portal technology allows users to document and immediately disseminate information regarding potential threats to personnel, facilities and resources to meet antiterrorism and force protection needs."[1]

The Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) Report Program


Operated by the U.S. Northern Command, JPEN is an interactive computer program used by those monitoring facilities in which information about anything suspect can be entered and available for use by those who may encounter similar persons, events or information.

Initially developed by CellExchange Inc.[2], JPEN has the potential to be expanded past military failities to include Federal, State, and local agencies may share information as well in regards to the war on terror.[3] JPEN was initially created by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to "develop proactive tools to fight the war on terror". In support of this program, Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose said information sharing must change from "the need to know to the need to share."[4]

As of October, 2003, the location of the system JPEN was listed at Booz Allen Hamilton.[5][6]


The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations states:

Title 32: National Defense; Part 635.5: Law Enforcement Reporting - Police intelligence/criminal information (5)(d): Police intelligence will be actively exchanged between DOD law enforcement agencies, military police, USACIDC, local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies. One tool developed by DOD for sharing police intelligence is the Joint Protection Enterprise Network (JPEN). JPEN provides users with the ability to post, retrieve, filter, and analyze real-world events. There are seven reporting criteria for JPEN:

(1) Non-specific threats;
(2) Surveillance;
(3) Elicitation;
(4) Tests of Security;
(5) Repetitive Activities;
(6) Bomb Threats/Incidents;

(7) Suspicious Activities/Incidents.[7]


General Richard B. Myers said at a conference May 11, 2004:

"The Joint Protection Enterprise Network, it can be focused on anything, but right now, we’re focused on security at military installations.  We figured out some years ago that we didn’t really have a good way to share information between our militaries on force protection issues.  For example, if a suspicious-looking vehicle is denied entry to Fort Belvoir, that event will be logged by the United States Army at Fort Belvoir.  What do you think the probability of that information getting to Fort Myer, or Andrews or Bolling is?  It’s not easy to get there – it might be in an email or letter somewhere or a report.  So, we had some really smart people come up with a solution, JPEN.  If you haven’t seen it you really ought to go see it.  It’s really quite interesting."[8]
emphasis added 

George W. Bush's domestic spying

Columnist William Arkin reported December 22, 2005, in the Washington Post[9] that the databases storing information on suspicious incidents gathered by the Pentagon:

is the Joint Protection Enterprise Network (JPEN) database, an intelligence and law enforcement sharing system managed by the Defense Department's Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA).

What is clear about JPEN is that the military is not inadvertently keeping information on U.S. persons.  It is violating the law. And what is more, it even wants to do it more.


But JPEN is more than just a compilation of TALON's. It is a near real-time sharing system of raw non-validated force protection information among Department of Defense organizations and installations. Feeding into JPEN are intelligence, law enforcement, counterintelligence, and security reports, TALONs as well as other reports.

JPEN shares this information at all levels, from military police guarding entry gates at military bases to terrorism warning watch standers at the Defense Intelligence Agency. JPEN began as a pilot project in the Washington, D.C. area and was initially fielded in June 2003.

Under the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), the military can maintain information on specific individuals (name of individual or other personal identifiers such as Social Security number or driver's license number) in the JPEN database system for 90 days.  JPEN then is supposed to purge all Privacy Act information after 90 days, unless it is part of an ongoing investigation.

Information fitting the requirements for expulsion from the databases after 90 is being retained past due.

On January 1, 2006, Walter Pincus wrote in the Washington Post:[10]

Information captured by the National Security Agency's secret eavesdropping on communications between the United States and overseas has been passed on to other government agencies, which cross-check the information with tips and information collected in other databases, current and former administration officials said.

The NSA has turned such information over to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and to other government entities, said three current and former senior administration officials, although it could not be determined which agencies received what types of information. Information from intercepts -- which typically includes records of telephone or e-mail communications -- would be made available by request to agencies that are allowed to have it, including the FBI, DIA, CIA and Department of Homeland Security, one former official said.

At least one of those organizations, the DIA, has used NSA information as the basis for carrying out surveillance of people in the country suspected of posing a threat, according to two sources. A DIA spokesman said the agency does not conduct such domestic surveillance but would not comment further. Spokesmen for the FBI, the CIA and the director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, declined to comment on the use of NSA data.


Those Northcom centers conduct "data" mining, where information received from the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, state and local police, and the Pentagon's Talon system are cross-checked to see if patterns develop that could indicate terrorist activities.

The Daily Kos blogger Soj[11] summed it up in January 2006:[12]

That "data mining" that Northcom does is JPEN, run by the Pentagon's CFA agency, effectively meaning the military is running a massive counterintelligence operation on American soil.


JPEN is the military's "mother of all databases" of domestic terrorism information and it is now archiving those reports beyond the legally permissible 90 days.  And remember folks, this database is chock full of unverified information.

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Cheryl Lilie, "Multiforce Protection In a Portal," SIGNAL Magazine, October 2004.
  2. website.
  3. This U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee markup page is no longer available.
  4. This U.S. Northern Command page is no longer available.
  5. "Federal Register: September 26, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 187). Notices. Page 55593-55594: Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records. Agency: The Joint Staff, DoD.
  6. Privacy Notices: JS008CSD. System name: Joint Protection Enterprise Network (September 26, 2003, 68 FR 55593). System location: Booz-Allen Hamilton, Inc, 5201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 400, Falls Church, VA 22041-3203.
  7. "Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR). e-CFR Data is current as of July 24, 2007.
  8. Gen. Richard B. Myers, "Remarks to the AFCEA TechNet International 2004 Conference: 'Combating Emerging Threats'," Washington, DC Convention Center, May 11, 2004.
  9. The following article is no longer available and access has been blocked. William Arkin, Early Warning Blog/Washington Post, December 22, 2005.
  10. Walter Pincus, "NSA Gave Other U.S. Agencies Information From Surveillance. Fruit of Eavesdropping Was Processed and Cross-Checked With Databases," Washington Post, January 1, 2006.
  11. Profile for blogger Soj.
  12. Soj, "JPEN: The military is using NSA intercepts to spy on Americans," The Daily Kos, January 6, 2006.

External articles