The California State Threat Assessment System (STAS) - six fusion centers created in the aftermath of the information sharing failures leading to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks - organized and positioned to have the closest possible relationship with the city and county public safety personnel, local businesses, and most importantly California's citizens, was praised in a report, Majority Staff Report on the National Network of Fusion Centers, by the United States House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, released last month.
ISE in the News
Information superiority is critical to our nation's future, particularly in the realms of defense and homeland security. But beyond access to more types of information than one's adversary, that superiority also requires the ability to process that information faster and more efficiently.
America's information capital is vast. Yet technological obstacles and territorial mind-sets at agencies thwart efforts to bring to bear the full power of all the information residing in federal databases.
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.
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.