When tragedy struck the Boston Marathon, law enforcement and national security officials sifted through untold amounts of information and identified suspects within three days. Data came from literally everywhere: video from business-owned cameras; individual bystanders’ cellphone pictures, information from the media and large amounts of material collected by investigators themselves.
ISE in the News
Two Pentagon memos make official Defense Department adoption of the National Information Exchange Model as the basis for defense data exchange. A March 28 memo (.pdf) from DoD Chief Information Officer Teri Takai says that as of that date, her office will no longer support further development of UCore or its C2 Core implementation "as unique DoD exchange models." The memo does say that applicable UCore and C2 Core data components will carry over to the Military Operations Domain NIEM extension to be established as part of the Defense Department's adoption of NIEM.
Boston’s Regional Intelligence Center is poised to aid investigators as they search for suspects in yesterday’s bombing.
The center is one of America’s 77 intelligence-sharing facilities, known as fusion centers, that allow investigators to pool data from local, state and federal sources. The state-run centers were funded by the Department of Homeland Security in the years after 9/11 to address the lack of information sharing among agencies, an issue cited as a factor in the government’s failure to prevent the 2001 attacks.
A new initiative to share information on cyber threats between businesses and government is to be launched. It will include experts from government communications body GCHQ, MI5, police and business and aims to better co-ordinate responses to the threats. There will be a secure web-portal to allow access to shared information in real time, like a "secure Facebook". UK networks are attacked by other states, criminals and companies seeking secrets, costing billions of pounds.
The National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) is an interesting and unusual model for government programs and instructive in the underlying methodology that created it. The NSI program was originally sponsored and started by an investment from the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE), in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding, signed by President Obama in December 2012, defines a vision to guide information sharing and safeguarding within existing law and policy, and to support effective decision-making. One of the strategy’s priority objectives is tied to standards-based acquisition—in other words, effective partnering between government and industry to create interoperable, standards-based solutions. The government’s ability to integrate systems and share information is stronger when solutions are reused and support multiple missions.
“It would be like trying to clap with one hand.” That is how the man tasked with leading the U.S. government’s effort to share and safeguard information describes the prospect of trying to accomplish that goal without collaboration from the geospatial community. Kshemendra Paul, program manager for the government’s Information Sharing Environment, says that while the government’s role in cybersecurity has been all over the news lately, the ISE is in no way new to the information-safeguarding landscape.
The White House will refurbish existing technology for sharing reports of suspected terrorist activity to carry out a new executive order encouraging the disclosure of cyber threats, U.S. intelligence officials told Nextgov.
In the days since President Barack Obama released his executive order on cybersecurity, active discussion of the measure's moving parts, implementation and potential impact has been unfolding. One area central to the order -- and to federal cybersecurity in general -- is information sharing among government, industry and other stakeholders.
Sharing information is critical for federal homeland security and counterterrorism programs, and as the program manager of the Information Sharing Environment, Kshemendra Paul is responsible for overseeing efforts to provide integrated information for national security operations.