OODA OriginalUncategorized

Don’t Hold Your Breath

I can’t help myself . . .

A tiny software company has been tapped by the new U.S. spy chief to lead a “tremendous leap forward,” in technology and policy that will enable the sharing of sensitive information between intelligence agencies and state and local law enforcement and other first responders.

The project aims to design and build a sophisticated platform that will allow counter-terrorism information — including personal data about Americans — to be securely shared in a variety of ways that reflect and respect the different rules in place in different agencies to protect individual privacy and information security.

“The aim is to create a trusted environment using the public Internet,” said Charles Jennings, co-founder and CEO of the software company, Portland, Ore.-based Swan Island Networks, Inc. […] 

[DNI Official Russel] said the project was an example of “spiral development” where, instead of the usual linear progression from requirement, to development and then to purchase, prototypes are developed as requirements evolve.

“Policy and technology are being developed in tandem,” he said. But he acknowledged that the project could only be research at this stage. “You have to define the (policy) parameters before you can engage in significant (procurement) activity,” he said.

In the name of all that is holy, do we really need to go through this nightmare again? Please don’t make me recycle any number of past posts about the dramas associated with gov’t and in particular IC IT projects. Google “NSA” and “Siobhan Gorman” and you’ll get the picture.  I hear publicly and privately that Meyerrose is moving forward smartly in this area, but based on this description we’re in for more of the same. So much fancy and expensive work associated with these projects, when a strong fusion of existing technology provides all anyone could want. Hell, right now any number of people in the field are sharing “sensitive information” between each other w/o all the overhead . . . and not for nothing, but we tried to do this behind the walls in really trusted areas and it flew like a lead zeppelin. I’m not saying “we tried it once and it failed so forget it,” I am saying that there are dreams and there are things that work; given what is at stake can’t we focus on what works?

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.