New administration won't weaken info sharing

Although a new administration will move into the White House in less than a year, the intelligence community’s emphasis on information sharing and collaboration will remain strong, Dale Meyerrose, the chief information officer and associate director of national intelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said today.

Years ago the idea of sharing information made people in the intelligence world nervous, Meyerrose said at a breakfast event hosted by the market research company Input. Now information sharing has matured beyond collecting pieces of data and analyzing that data in a vacuum. 

Data points matter, but it's even more important to get the right people together, with the right expertise, so they can develop deep knowledge and understanding of a subject, problem, vulnerability or threat, Meyerrose said.

Previously intelligence agencies’ attitude toward collaboration meant, “I’ll show you my information if you show me yours,” he said. Now, intelligence officers are realizing information sharing is all about delivering data to the person that can best use it. And that kind of sharing can go beyond the intelligence agencies.

“I’m finding that folks across the government are understanding more and more what collaboration means,” Meyerrose said.

“We do have intelligence elements at work with most other parts of the federal government and they are understanding what collaboration is,” he said. “All of those new kinds of concepts that are culturally altering are what the Director of National Intelligence brings to the intelligence community.”

Meyerrose also said a new enterprise software licensing program will help knock down barriers to information sharing, while saving agencies money, too.

The combined approach to managing certain computer software licenses will give authorized users immediate, unobstructed access to information. The DOD and the ODNI will jointly negotiate with software vendors for licensing agreements that will allow the organizations’ to access information and share it with any potential authorized user, regardless of the user’s organization.

These licenses are called Net-centric. Their primary purpose is to eliminate information-sharing roadblocks, such as institutional boundaries or license limitations.

“Working together, we are collectively able to get better deals for the United States government,” Meyerrose said. “Additionally, it reduces overhead for both our organizations so that we don’t have to duplicate contracting activities.”

The program will start with one specific negotiation and then will expand to all of agencies’ strategic partners.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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