Bush demands more info sharing

President Bush has issued an executive order demanding greater information sharing among agencies that fight terrorism, according to a new listing published in the Federal Register today.

Executive Order 13388, which Bush signed Tuesday, requires agencies to enact policies and design computer systems to share as much terrorism-related information with one another as the law allows.

At the same time, agencies must protect privacy and other rights, the order states.

Agency leaders must promptly share terrorism information with one another unless the president says otherwise, the order states. They must also collaborate on reports that put the information in the most useful form to protect the country.

To speed and improve information sharing, agencies must follow standards set out in Executive Order 13356, which Bush signed in August 2004. It establishes the methods to carry out the goals of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

The new executive order will also create an Information Sharing Council to advise and inform federal departments and agencies on creating an interoperable, automated information-sharing environment.

The council will create the environment under the plan set out in Executive Order 13356, the new order states.

The council will include representatives of the attorney general and the secretaries of the Commerce, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, State and Treasury departments. It will also include designees of the directors of the CIA, the FBI, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Counterterrorism Center.

The director of national intelligence will have a designee and can appoint proxies to represent other departments or agencies to participate.

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