DHS authorization bill: A mandate for info sharing

The Homeland Security Department has had information sharing on its list of technology must-dos for some time, but it would become a mandate under the fiscal 2007 authorization bill a House panel recently passed.

In the bill it cleared July 19, the House Homeland Security Committee called on DHS’ secretary to establish a comprehensive information technology network architecture to be run by the renamed Office of Intelligence and Analysis, currently the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate.

The new office would oversee intelligence sharing among DHS’ various intelligence agencies, and information-sharing and knowledge officers would run the office’s activities.

The new IT network would, as much as possible, incorporate the approaches, features and functions of the Systemwide Homeland Security Analysis and Resource Exchange network the Markle Foundation proposed several years ago, according to the bill.

A plan to implement the network would be due no later than a year after enactment of the authorization measure.

The bill’s other measures included establishing a national biosurveillance integration system to ensure early detection of biological attacks or other events that pose risks to the United States and creation of a grant program administered by the National Science Foundation to train cybersecurity professionals.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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