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Study finds CIA falling behind in IT know-how

A new unclassified report, titled “Failing to Keep Up With the Information Revolution,” offers a withering assessment of the CIA’s use of IT for intelligence analysis, calling its networking and information-searching capabilities “primitive” and saying that the agency’s emphasis on secrecy fundamentally discourages IT use and adoption by CIA analysts. The study was conducted by a scholar working with the CIA’s Sherman Kent Center for Intelligence Analysis, a think tank attached to the analyst training center in the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI). The report appeared in the most recent edition of the intelligence-community publication Studies in Intelligence and is posted on the agency’s Web site. The CIA didn’t respond to a request for comment, but the report is said to have been circulating widely within the DI since its completion about six months ago, according to Barbara Pace, editor of Studies in Intelligence. The study’s author, Bruce Berkowitz, interviewed almost 100 CIA employees involved in producing national security analysis, including intelligence analysts, technicians and managers. He asked them about their work and use of technology, soliciting their ideas for using IT more effectively, according to the report. Full Story

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