DHS releases new information-sharing guidance

The Homeland Security Department is distributing new guidance on how it will apply consistent security standards for the sharing of classified threat information with state, local and private sector partners.

The 88-page document describes DHS’ role in setting and overseeing standards for secure access, secure communications and secure storage and handling of classified documents. The guidance “also maintains consistency with existing policies and standards promulgated through statutes, executive orders, regulations, and other directives,” according to a news release.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano released an implementing directive on March 9 that she said will strengthen cross-agency sharing by “instilling uniformity and consistency” in the handling of top secret federal information about possible threats. The implementing directive was developed in conjunction wih the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, Justice Department, Defense Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s information security oversight office, DHS said in the news release.

Napolitano’s order seeks to implement the president’s executive order of August 2010 to promote consistent standards for federal information-sharing of classified information with state, local and tribal governments and private sector entities.

According to the DHS directive, the department is responsible for overall program management and oversight; accreditation, monitoring and periodic inspection of facilities; processing of security clearance applications sponsored by DHS or, if requested, of other agencies on a reimbursable basis; and developing training for entities handling classified documents, among other responsibilities.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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