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Info Sharing: Still Not Getting It

U.S. officials said Tuesday the U.S. intelligence community was grappling with policies to effectively share information. […]

Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., chairman of the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, said he was not satisfied with progress on reforming national intelligence capabilities to counter threats. […]

The U.S. Congress mandated modernization through a 2004 intelligence law, which created a director of national intelligence position and a counter-terrorism center to coordinate intelligence activities and disseminate information. Simmons said Congress should not mandate more changes. Rather, he said the administration must offer solutions. “The last thing you really want to do, in my opinion, is have Congress solve the problem,” he said.

Russ Travers, the counter-terrorism center’s deputy director for information sharing and knowledge development, said the “single-biggest question” that needs answering is what is each agency’s specific responsibility.

He said the center was “clearly not there yet” on fully implementing the intelligence statute. For example, the center does not have standards for evaluating and incorporating suspicious activity reports created by state and local law enforcement.

Gaaah! Once again, thinking that information is best handled in a linear fashion is keeping us less safe. Organizations in DC live and breath based on the idea that a given piece of text provides them with a right/justification/lee-way to do this or that, so the claim that they don’t know who should do what is at the same time legitimate and a cop-out. The fact of the matter is that no one can say that agency X, that collects and “owns” data Y, is the best agency to make full and effective use of that data. OPENING access to everyone with a stake in the fight (yes, of course, keep your handling caveats if you must) means that you’re not wasting time while the data flows up, over, and then back down. Nothing against liaisons, but there are enough delays built into the system.

Army of Analysts people, Army of Analysts . . .

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.