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9/11 Report Iffy on Tech

For most of the 9/11 Commission’s sobering final report, technology takes a back seat to tales of agency and structural shortcomings. But mixed sparsely into the 567-page report are various calls for technology improvements. While many of those are vague, one notable exception is in the report’s section 13.3 on information sharing, where the commission suggests a complete and extremely difficult back-office overhaul. The commission proposes that “information be shared horizontally, across new networks that transcend individual agencies.” Were such an infrastructure created, agencies would be able to access not just their own intelligence databases, but could also search within databases across agency lines. In addition, more information would become available as documents were spliced into data that can and cannot be shared. “Currently, it’s nearly impossible to get to any information within a top-secret document without top-secret clearance, even if some of that information is unclassified,” said Jonathan Stull, spokesman for the 9/11 Commission. With this new infrastructure, more people would have access to at least some form of the information, allowing for better analysis. Full Story

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