CIA to launch integrated intell service

CHICAGO -- The CIA will launch a new service Sept. 7 on its top-secret network that will integrate all its intelligence information into a single view.

This new service, called CIA Wire, will underpin the agency’s contribution to the Library of National Intelligence (LNI), an initiative the intelligence community will launch by Oct. 31, said Gus Hunt, the CIA’s executive agent for LNI.

Speaking Sept. 5 at the Analytic Transformation conference sponsored by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, Hunt said CIA Wire and LNI are long overdue.

“It boggles my mind that it took so long to understand the concept of bringing together all the community knowledge to use effectively,” he said. “LNI will let users on the top-secret network share information that was agreed to be released. We now will know what we know about any topic.”

Hunt said LNI will be a one-stop shop for all intelligence information that the community has agreed to share.

“Now analysts must go to multiple systems to find data and then bring it all together,” he said. “If there is a common base of knowledge, collaboration starts at a different point.”

Hunt said LNI will enter the test phase by the end of October and Phase 2 next year.

LNI’s initial operating capability will include a single repository of all the intelligence information available from a select number of agencies. Hunt was unsure how many, however.

He said users with top-secret clearances can search metadata and receive indexed search results through a Web interface. Hunt said employees must use a digital certificate through a public-key infrastructure to access the site. The intelligence community will also be able to measure the effect of the searches and audit who uses LNI and how.

“We will use the metadata to make a card catalog listing, in which users will see only the minimal information and a link to the report,” Hunt said.

Mike Wertheimer, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for analytic transformation and technology in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that when intelligence community employees request a document from LNI, one of three things can happen:
  • They will receive a copy of the document.
  • They will need to be cleared before obtaining a copy of the document.
  • They will not be able to view the document.
“We will measure attribute-based access for the first time and then we can start to automate,” Wertheimer said. “LNI is just the starting point for us to get a handle on what we know and how we use it.”

Hunt said that for LNI to succeed, it must be built on standards; ensure data quality; balance security against risk, cost and mission needs; and ensure that information retains its context no matter how many times it is used.

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