Event Coverage

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) views cyberspace as one of the bureau’s top priorities across its entire mission set. Not only is economic national security threatened from cyberspace, it also may hold clues to deterring and preventing crimes—if the bureau can exploit it effectively.

“Cyber touches everything I’m responsible for,” said FBI director James Comey. “It’s not a thing, it’s a way.” Comey described the important of cyberspace at the final plenary session of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy is launching some new initiatives to improve its intelligence capabilities while it takes on new missions amid force cutbacks. The sea service also is planning to make greater use of other service intelligence capabilities and products.

B. Lynn Wright, deputy director of naval intelligence, Headquarters, U.S. Navy, explained some of these naval intelligence activities to the audience at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Wright noted the importance of intelligence to the Navy as it deals with new missions.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Many of the lines that have defined defense intelligence are blurring to the point where divisions may actually disappear. These distinctions range from areas of operation to types of intelligence products, and this trend offers profound implications for the future of intelligence.

Rear Adm. Paul Becker, USN, director for intelligence (J-2), the Joint Staff, described these changes redefining defense intelligence at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Adm. Becker stated that the linkage between domestic intelligence and foreign intelligence is withering.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. Army intelligence is increasing its reach throughout the battlespace as it exploits new capabilities in support of its operations. New technologies and an increased focus on intelligence activities are the hallmark of the ground service’s new approach to intelligence.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Coast Guard is adopting new technologies and capabilities that it hopes will provide it with needed intelligence while also being complementary to that of other intelligence organizations. The service is uniquely positioned to act both locally and globally to support U.S. intelligence needs, and it aims to be able to interoperate with foreign partners.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Marine Corps is leveraging its expertise in tactical intelligence to interoperate with the other services in generating an overall intelligence picture. New Marine forces and platforms will be contributing to this new joint product.

“The Marine Corps is very much a joint player in the intelligence arena—we have to be,” declared Brig. Gen. Michael Groen, USMC, director of intelligence, U.S. Marine Corps. Speaking at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C., Gen. Groen explained that the Corps always has had a focus on tactical collectors, and it is brining that to the battlespace.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Factors ranging from weapons of mass destruction proliferation to nanotechnology advances are driving the development of new technologies to serve the U.S. intelligence community. Necessity and opportunity are well represented among items listed by agency technologists at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C.

Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense is high on the list, according to David Honey, director for science and technology, Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Its proliferation is a challenge, as many countries and groups are willing to add to that proliferation.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Defense Department is developing new strategic approaches to deal with new threats that have novel aspects, and these approaches are being reflected in defense intelligence capabilities. These capability changes will need to take place concurrent with ongoing operations to address these challenges, according to a high-ranking Defense Department official.

September 19, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Among the many perils faced by the United States, space and cyberspace pose some of the greatest challenges. And, there is no public wave of awareness or demand for action looming on the horizon, to the detriment of the nation.

September 19, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Intelligence community oversight is a necessary function of government that has increased in importance in recent years. However, the characteristics that define intelligence have made oversight more difficult.

Both that need and its difficulty were the focus of a panel on the second day of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Government experts and advocates for civilian privacy discussed the still-elusive balance between transparency and effectiveness.

September 19, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Government is targeting intelligence technology research to maximize its return while relying on industry to provide complementary development, according to a group of government intelligence technologists. This approach aims to address budget constraints amid increased investments by other nations.

Some of the community’s research practices were outlined by a panel at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Peter Highnam, director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), noted that IARPA does not fund basic research. Instead, it builds on the research done by industry.

September 19, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The National Security Agency (NSA) is focusing inward and externally as it adopts a new approach to technology policy. This effort ranges from seeking outside partners in technology development to conducting an internal audit to uncover weak points that might bring down the agency.

September 19, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The United States has far better oversight and transparency about its intelligence operations than do many of the nations criticizing it, according to the two leading congressmen in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI), committee chairman, and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), ranking member of the committee, related this observation after meeting with members of several allied nations about U.S. intelligence community activities.

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Internet of Things promises to change everyday life—and intelligence operations—but it remains far from reality, according to government and industry experts. Aspects ranging from security to architectures remain to be determined as changing technologies alter outlooks.

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Intelligence community leaders who strive for greater transparency are vexed by leaks that undermine secrecy concerns. Yet, news reporters complain of stifling government security and seek to establish their own transparency through news leaks by government officials.

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The very technologies that the intelligence community relies on to carry out its missions are threatening its ability to provide an accurate picture of its challenges and opportunities. Technology-driven information has no accountability, and many of its disseminators have very little perspective on truth, noted a panel during the final plenary session of the first day of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C.

September 19, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. forces will need to be actively supporting other nations’ ground forces if the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL) is to be defeated and removed as a threat, said two leading members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Speaking at a plenary session during the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C., the congressmen presented a bipartisan approach to several key intelligence issues.

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The key to exploiting cyber intelligence is to understand your own organization in a threat context, said panelists at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Government and industry must understand their cyberthreats at both the tactical and strategic levels, panelists offered.

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Defeating cyberthreats will require greater sharing among government and industry in new ways, according to cyber intelligence experts. A panel at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C., explored new issues in cyber intelligence information sharing.

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The leaders of the U.S. intelligence community stated that the Snowden and Manning revelations of U.S. intelligence collection activities have done serious harm to U.S. national security in several ways. Three agency directors and one acting director stated that the ability to view the threat picture has been hamstrung as it is changing to an increasing degree.

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