Pacom improves info sharing

The command is increasingly using systems built on open-source software to share information, and it is working in cooperation with the FBI's Honolulu office.

HONOLULU –- The sharing of intelligence information among agencies has improved since the 2001 terrorist attacks but still has room for improvement, said top Pacific Command (Pacom) intelligence officials at AFCEA International’s annual TechNet Asia-Pacific conference.

The government must develop policies and procedures that encourage cross-agency information sharing, said Capt. William Klauberg, intelligence director for Joint Interagency Task Force West, which handles Pacom’s counterdrug operations.

The task force has found that counterdrug operations yield information related to terrorist threats, including the smuggling of people and drugs and the development and trafficking of fraudulent documentation, Klauberg said.

Charles Goodwin, special agent in charge at the FBI’s Honolulu office, said the bureau has undergone a culture change since 2001 and now works more closely with its counterparts at national intelligence agencies and the Defense Department. Col. Steve Grove, commander of the Army’s 500th Military Intelligence Brigade, said cooperative efforts include brigade analysts working on joint missions with the FBI’s Honolulu office.

Goodwin said collaboration with military counterparts on sensitive issues has improved because he can now use DOD’s Secret IP Router Network for communications. Klauberg urged development of what he called a trusted information network that would bridge multiple agencies to improve the sharing of intelligence information.

Pacom intelligence officials said they also increasingly use systems built into open-source software to share information and dip into Internet resources.

Rear Adm. Andrew Singer, Pacom’s intelligence director, said his command has been using Intellipedia, developed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It is based on the open-source software that powers Wikipedia.

Col. Martin Neubauer, intelligence director for the Pacific Air Forces, urged the use of unconventional open-source information as a way to ensure that “we don’t run out of new ideas.” He gave Wikipedia and the Web sites for Vanity Fair magazine and the Financial Times as examples.

Neubauer also said that whether it’s open-source or sensitive information, the desire to share that information for the greater good must drive agents’ efforts.

That approach requires individual analysts and agencies to give up some control of information, but it can create an overall higher return on intelligence efforts, he said.