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Over the past six years we have made significant improvements in the way that terrorism-related information is shared. There remains more we can and must do to ensure that those responsible for protecting our people, interests, and infrastructure have the information they need to carry out their mission. Individual departments and agencies of the Federal Government have been directed to work together to ensure that Federal information and intelligence capabilities are brought together to form a national assured information sharing capability. These same individual departments and agencies have been directed to work together to ensure that State and major urban area fusion centers are interlinked with each other and Federal information and intelligence capabilities to form a national information sharing capability. This Strategy provides the vision of how we will build upon the progress of the past six years and establish an integrated information sharing capability to ensure that those who need information to protect our Nation from terrorism receive it and that those who have information share it.
The preceding sections of this Strategy described the four areas of information sharing and the overarching need to ensure that our efforts to expand the sharing of terrorism-related information are accompanied by adequate protections for information privacy rights and other rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The challenge is to ensure that those areas, and the guiding principles on which they are based, are incorporated in a framework of specific, measurable activities that guide the development and implementation of the ISE and increase the sharing of terrorism-related information across the Federal Government and with State, local, tribal, and private sector entities and our foreign partners.
Ultimately, implementing this Strategy will create a powerful national capability to share, search, and analyze terrorism-related information that spans jurisdictional, organizational, and cultural boundaries and provides users a distributed, secure, and trusted environment for transforming data into actionable information. It also takes advantage of the vital roles played by State and major urban area information fusion centers, which are crucial investments for improving the nation's analytical capacity.
This Strategy is being institutionalized through many actions including the following:
The ISE Implementation Plan Report - In November 2006, the Director of National Intelligence produced and provided to the Congress a report containing an Implementation Plan for the ISE that outlines almost 100 specific actions and supporting recommendations for achieving the goals for the ISE, as envisioned in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and in Executive Order 13388.
This plan reflects the culmination of collaboration between the Program Manager, the Information Sharing Council, and Federal departments and agencies. It also incorporates the perspectives of representatives from State, local, and tribal governments who reviewed the ISE Implementation Plan Report during its development.
The Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group - The Administration established an Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group at the national level to better coordinate the sharing of terrorism-related information. The Group will facilitate the production of what will be officially defined as "federally coordinated" terrorism-related information products intended for dissemination to State, local, and tribal officials and private sector partners through the established channels. As noted previously, the Group will include representatives from DHS, FBI, and other relevant Federal entities as well as State and local government representatives. The Group will ensure that both classified and unclassified intelligence produced by Federal entities within the intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security communities is fused, validated, de-conflicted, and approved for dissemination in a concise and, when possible, unclassified format.
State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers - We will improve collaboration at the State and local levels by leveraging State and major urban area information fusion centers and by establishing a national integrated network of these centers. Appendix 1 delineates the specific roles and responsibilities of State and major urban area fusion centers.
Collocation of personnel from State and major urban area fusion centers and local JTTFs, Field Intelligence Groups, and National Guard intelligence units is also encouraged.
Through the Federal grants process and related technical assistance and training efforts, the Federal Government is working to ensure that these centers achieve and maintain a baseline level of operational and analytical capability by encouraging the adoption of the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative/Homeland Security Advisory Council Fusion Guidelines and by expanding the amount of technical assistance and training provided.
Standard International Agreement Text - We are developing standard language on information sharing and protection that can be used in international agreements pertaining to terrorism-related information sharing to facilitate agreement on a level of protection that would not unnecessarily impede re-dissemination for counterterrorism purposes.
Central Repository - We are establishing a central, electronically accessible repository of information on foreign government and international organization marking and handling regimes so that U.S. agencies and domestic partners can more readily understand safeguarding and handling rules for different kinds of foreign government information.
ISE Privacy Guidelines - The ISE Privacy Guidelines are designed to establish a framework for sharing terrorism-related information in the ISE in a manner that protects privacy and civil liberties. These guidelines require agencies to identify any privacy-protected information to be shared and they put in place accountability mechanisms, audit mechanisms, and redress procedures.
ISE Privacy Officials - The Guidelines require Federal departments and agencies to designate an "ISE Privacy Official" to directly oversee implementation of the Guidelines.
ISE Privacy Guidelines Committee - The Guidelines also provide for an ISE Privacy Guidelines Committee, consisting of the ISE Privacy Officials of the Federal departments and agencies that are members of the Information Sharing Council, and chaired by a senior official designated by the Program Manager of the ISE.
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