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 Home > News & Policies > October 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 31, 2007

Fact Sheet: National Strategy for Information Sharing
New Strategy Builds On Progress To Establish Integrated National Capability For Terrorism-Related Information Sharing Among Federal, State, Local, And Tribal Officials, Private Sector, And Foreign Partners

     Fact sheet National Strategy for Information Sharing

"Today's release of the National Strategy for Information Sharing is a demonstration of the extensive efforts of this Administration to enhance our ability to work with State and local partners to protect Americans from the threat of terrorism. Everyday, we work to improve the sharing of terrorism-related information with our foreign allies and the private sector, as well as law enforcement officials throughout our country. This Strategy will help us all continue to work together to detect, prevent, disrupt, and preempt terror attacks."

Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend, 10/31/07

Today, President Bush issued the first National Strategy for Information Sharing to prioritize and unify our Nation's efforts to advance the sharing of terrorism-related information. The Strategy sets forth our plan to build upon the progress we have made in improving information sharing since the September 11 attacks and establish an integrated National information sharing capability. It was developed using a collaborative process and based on significant input provided by members of the Federal Information Sharing Council, as well as State, local, tribal, and private sector officials from across the Nation.

  • The Strategy will help ensure those responsible for combating terrorism and protecting our local communities have access to the timely and accurate information they need by:

    • Providing a framework for enhanced information sharing among Federal, State, local, and tribal officials, the private sector, and foreign partners to aid their individual missions and to help secure the homeland.

    • Describing the Federal Government's approach to support State and major urban area fusion centers, as well as National efforts to fight crime and make our local communities safer.

    • Recognizing that as information sharing capabilities are enhanced, it is imperative that the legal rights of Americans continue to be protected, especially in the area of privacy and civil liberties.

The Strategy Sets Forth Our Plan To Improve Information Sharing Capabilities At All Levels Of Government And With The Private Sector

1. Improving information sharing among Federal agencies. Before September 11, we depended on the capabilities of the Intelligence Community to collect, process, analyze, and disseminate intelligence regarding our adversaries and enemies. Today, we are not only enhancing those intelligence capabilities, but also ensuring collaboration among the other relevant Federal communities: law enforcement, defense, homeland security, and foreign affairs. This unified approach among Federal agencies will support improved sharing with non-Federal partners as well.

2. Improving information sharing with State, local, and tribal entities. As our Nation's first preventers and responders, State, local, and tribal officials must have access to actionable information, as well as mechanisms to support the identification and reporting of potential threats within their jurisdictions.

  • The Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group within the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) will facilitate the production of Federally-coordinated terrorism information products intended for dissemination to State, local, tribal, and private sector partners.

  • The Strategy calls for a National information sharing capability through the establishment of an integrated network of fusion centers. Since 2001, the Federal Government has provided significant grant funding to support the establishment of fusion centers owned and operated by States and major urban areas; 58 such centers have either been established or are being established. The Strategy builds on these efforts and provides a Federal Government-wide approach to interfacing and collaborating with these centers.

3. Improving information sharing with the private sector. The private sector owns and operates over 85 percent of the Nation's critical infrastructure and is, therefore, a primary source of information crucial for understanding the current threat environment. The private sector has improved its information sharing capabilities. This Strategy will build upon the progress already made and describes further efforts that will be taken to improve communications.

4. Improving information sharing with foreign partners. After the September 11 attacks, many foreign governments joined us in declaring war on terrorism and have since contributed in important ways. Intelligence provided by foreign partners often provides the first indications of terrorist plans and intentions. Accordingly, we will enhance standards and provide more capabilities for improved sharing with our foreign partners and allies.

The Strategy recognizes partners must be assured their information will be protected from unauthorized disclosure; likewise, the American people must also be assured that their information privacy is being protected. It is essential to continue protecting the information privacy and other legal rights of Americans as we fight the Global War on Terrorism. Accordingly, our efforts will remain relentless on two fronts protecting our people, our communities, and our infrastructure from attack and zealously protecting the information privacy and other legal rights of Americans.

Building On Progress Made In Information Sharing

Since the September 11 attacks, we have made extraordinary improvements in our capabilities to gather, analyze, and share the information needed to paint a more complete picture of the threat, and to provide a greater capacity for coordinated and integrated efforts to detect, prevent, disrupt, and respond to terrorist actions.

  • NCTC was established to serve as a multi-agency center analyzing and integrating all intelligence pertaining to terrorism, including threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad.

  • We established the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) to consolidate terrorist watch lists and provide around-the-clock operational support for Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement personnel across the country.

  • The Federal Government provided significant grant funding to support the establishment of fusion centers.

  • The growth and maturation of the 101 Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) in major cities throughout the United States has substantially contributed to improved information sharing and operational capabilities at the State and municipal levels.

  • The Administration worked with the Congress to adopt, implement, and renew key reforms like the USA PATRIOT Act to remove barriers that once restricted sharing between the law enforcement and intelligence communities while also protecting our fundamental liberties.

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