RealNews

Info sharing hobbled by tech and culture

Agencies merging into the Homeland Security Department as well as others sharing information in the government’s antiterrorism efforts are working to overcome cultural and technological barriers, but the work is going to take time, according to a panel of agency officials who spoke Feb. 26 at an AFCEA International Inc. conference in Washington, D.C. The USA Patriot Act, enacted last year, provided the needed spur, said John Pistole, the FBI’s deputy assistant director for counterterrorism. “Prior to Sept. 11, [2001,] we had a wall. What the Patriot Act did was take down that wall,” he said. Agencies face considerable technological challenges. One is ensuring that information stays out of the hands of those not authorized to see it. To that end, the National Security Agency (NSA) is developing “trusted control interfaces,” which the CIA is implementing, said William Dawson, chief information officer of the CIA’s Department of Intelligence Communications. Full Story

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