Officials announce plan to share terrorism intelligence

Attorney General John Ashcroft on Friday unveiled an initiative to foster greater information sharing among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

"No single government agency, or government, can win the war on terrorism," Ashcroft said. FBI Director Robert Mueller and Homeland Security Department Undersecretary Frank Libutti attended the announcement.

Details of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan were developed at a 2002 law-enforcement summit convened by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to examine the requirements necessary for a national network that would gather, analyze and share information and intelligence on criminal and terrorist activities.

On Friday, Ashcroft said the greatest structural failure in thwarting the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks involved the "impediments to communication and information sharing among the men and women charged with keeping America safe."

"Government erected a wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents," he said. "Government buttressed this wall, and before, government was blinded by this wall."

Ashcroft added that coupled with new powers granted law enforcement under the 2001 anti-terrorism law known as the USA PATRIOT Act, the intelligence initiative will have a great impact. He said the PATRIOT Act has of led to the arrests terrorist suspects nationwide and to the freezing of funds designated for terrorist activities.

"Congress must keep these tools in place for law enforcement," Ashcroft said.

Technology has made tracking criminals and terrorists increasingly difficult, Mueller said, but the intelligence-sharing plan will help keep law enforcement ahead of the tech curve.

"As we look at the challenges of the future, we are struck by a complicated criminal landscape," Mueller said. "Cellular phones and jet travel are technological improvements that make it increasingly difficult to address these threats. We need to develop the capability to gather, analyze and distribute information throughout the enterprise."

The plan establishes a Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council to set national policies for information sharing and to monitor progress on the state and local levels.

It builds on ongoing Justice Department initiatives such as the Law Enforcement Information Strategy Initiative, the FBI's department-wide intelligence-sharing initiative, and the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Virtual Pointer System, which provides common information access for agencies that are investigating the same suspects.

Justice has created a common XML-based tech standard for sharing information, and all new systems will be based on that Justice XML Data Dictionary, the department announced. The department also is pursuing research into new XML standards, analytical tools and security technology to foster future information sharing.

Meanwhile, Ashcroft announced at an afternoon event that a probe into pornography distribution over Internet file-sharing networks produced 1,000 investigations and more than 65 arrests.

"Individuals are trolling the back alleys and dark corners of the Internet," he said, adding that a joint effort by the Justice Department, the FBI, U.S. Immigrations and Customs, and local task forces have identified 3,371 computers distributing child pornography through peer-to-peer networks over the Internet.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.