House passes info sharing bill

The House passed a terrorism-fighting bill June 26 to make it easier to share information among the FBI, the CIA and local law enforcement.

The legislation, approved 422-2, is part of congressional efforts to break down the walls that prevent intelligence agencies from disclosing important information to other government sources. It is one of many bills moving through Congress to address the problems that came to the forefront in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Under the legislation, which must be approved by the Senate, information-sharing procedures would be in place within six months. Classified information would be edited so it could be shared with state and local authorities. The bill also would require the president to develop guidelines for sharing classified and sensitive intelligence information.

"This is a bill about how to make Americans safer," said Rep. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), chairman of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and one of the bill's authors. "We do a great job in this country of gathering intelligence, but we don't do a very good job in sharing that information."

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