Don’t Call it a Set Back
Catching up on more GCN tid-bits:
John Russack, program manager for the Information-Sharing Environment in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, is leaving the post, according to a statement released today by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill).
“It is a troubling setback that John Russack, the Bush administration’s top official in charge of implementing a government-wide initiative to enhance information-sharing between local, state and federal officials, is stepping down,” Durbin said in a statement.
“It appears that our best efforts to implement 21st-century technology for information-sharing are still far behind. Today’s announcement tells us that plans for moving forward may be delayed or jeopardized,” Durbin said.
People wonder why local authorities have such contempt for federal “information sharing” initiatives. If you didn’t know any better you’d think the problem was insurmountable.
The fact of the matter is that all the policy decisions along these lines are no good unless there is a strong education effort for the workforce (reporting on what was done with “US Persons” data in the Able Danger case is illustrative) and there is a simple mechanism for point-to-point sharing. “Write to release” is only a half measure. Complicated gate-keeping mechanisms are supposed to prevent unintentional leaks, but the end result is a clogged drain.
With any luck some alternatives will get off the ground soon that will drive these points home. In the mean time the best information sharing methodology is still a cop, a trooper, a special agent and an intelligence officer in a booth at Cap City sharing a pitcher (or three). That’s a shame. It’s fun, but it is still a shame.