The total population on the Internet is 1.6 billion. The majority of users engage in social computing, where numerous online services offer opportunities for sharing information. There are currently 156 social computing sites, but that number is growing to meet increasingly diverse interests. Sites with more than 15 million registered users include Digg, FriendFinder, Facebook, Flixster, Flickr, Friendster, Habbo, LinkedIn, MyLife, MySpace, Orkut, Plaxo, Twitter, YouTube, UStream and Wiki. These services had a total membership of 1.4 billion as of last fall.
The threat to cyberspace now rivals that of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. That is the message in the latest effort to rouse the public from slumber induced by ignorance, indifference, apathy, confusion and denial. Government is inundated with reports and studies from think tanks, academia, prestigious government research agencies and the cybersecurity industry—each decrying the weak and deteriorating state in our cyberdefenses and proffering advice to the new administration.
By Maj. Daniel Ward, USAF, Maj. Gabe Mounce, USAF, and Carol Scheina
The explosion of online social media is profoundly changing how people produce, consume and share information. Social media rapidly turns monologues into dialogues and broadcasts into conversations. The result is a rich environment in which ideas are shared, questions are answered and collaborative relationships flourish.
Command and control is a subject that encompasses all military functions. No matter how brave soldiers are or how many billions of dollars are spent, command and control is essential in enabling the warfighter to execute commander’s intent.
Some risks attend all travel in the domains of land, sea, air and outer space, but in those realms the voyager is afforded a patently acceptable measure of protection by laws, rules, sanctions against misbehavior, and social norms and comity. Aviators, firefighters, law enforcement officials, soldiers and others obliged to function in highly contested domains can seek added protection from partners who warn of danger from their rear perspective—their six o’clock.
This is my take on the AFCEA, Northcom and George Mason University conference on "Inter-agency, Allied and Coalition Information Sharing," which was covered on SIGNAL Scape last week. No, we still can't connect the dots as well as hoped and never will, but conferees agreed that what matters most is the thoughtful and trusting use that humans could make of what information manages to flow through IT systems, however improperly they may be connected.
As the intelligence community looks to a future in which better intelligence decisions emerge from smarter use of available but limited resources, human capital must take center stage. Including culture, values, education and lifelong learning will provide the right ingredients to evolve the intelligence community to the next level of a learning organization—and to achieve high performance for the missions it supports.
Combatant commands are vital to the protection and preservation of U.S. interests. However, in today’s dynamic, volatile global environment, they may need to evolve their “product” to best suit the environment they intend to shape. In the case of U.S. Africa Command, it may be more relevant and effective for the organization to support the region’s fledging democracies. These nations need assistance in establishing their ability to openly share information with each another and international allies. In doing so, U.S. combatant commands can prove invaluable in helping nations grow and prosper to become better service providers to their people and achieve greater positive outcomes as a result.
Network-centric operations as a doctrine based on a shared U.S. Defense Department infrastructure is now 10 years old. The concept of networked warfare has been under active consideration by the Office of the Secretary of Defense since 2001, but no evidence suggests that significant infrastructure consolidations are taking place. As yet, no new major systems have been built on a shared infrastructure platform. The fiscal year 2009 budgets show no significant reallocations of funds to propel network centricity into reality any time soon.