Intelligence

September 7, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Panelists discuss section 702 Intelligence reauthorization during the Intelligence and National Security Summit.

Officials from across the U.S. intelligence community are calling for reauthorization of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the government to collect data on non-U.S. citizens on foreign soil, as Congress debates whether to reauthorize, reform or outright reject it.

Multiple officials from multiple agencies touted the benefits of Section 702 during the 2017 Intelligence and National Security Summit, which was held Sept. 6-7 in Washington, D.C.

September 7, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks during the Intelligence and National Security Summit.

The U.S. federal government has not yet told state-level election officials whether their election systems were hacked by the Russians.

September 6, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Panelists discuss military intelligence at the Intelligence and National Security Summit.

While space has always been an important domain for military intelligence, the intelligence community is renewing its emphasis on the stars, according to officials speaking at the Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington, D.C.

“One of the reasons this conversation is taking place is because of the evolving threat environment. We realize, as much as we thought we appreciated the role of space historically, it’s become even more critical, both from a warfighting perspective and from an economic perspective,” said Maj. Gen. James Marrs, USAF, Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

September 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
A DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 satellite image of Sydney shows the variety of buildings dotting the landscape. Among the artificial intelligence (AI) research sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is an AI program designed to determine the functions of buildings just from looking at overhead imagery.

Geospatial imagery as well as facial recognition and other biometrics are driving the intelligence community’s research into artificial intelligence. Other intelligence activities, such as human language translation and event warning and forecasting, also stand to gain from advances being pursued in government, academic and industry research programs funded by the community’s research arm.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is working toward breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, or AI, through a number of research programs. All these AI programs tap expertise in government, industry or academia.

September 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new approach to identifying key research targets could help bring nontraditional partners into the realm of developing advanced intelligence technologies and capabilities. It builds on the Intelligence Science and Technology Partnership, or In-STeP, which lays out road maps of key capabilities that can be exploited by government, industry and academia.

September 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
SpaceX’s Dragon capsule re-enters Earth’s atmosphere before it splashes down into the Pacific Ocean, west of Baja California. A new space revolution asks intelligence analysts to figure out how to maximize abundant open source imagery and data from private players. NASA photo

Commercial satellite companies are giving rise to a new space revolution, launching hundreds of small satellites into orbit to do what the U.S. military cannot or at least will not do: photograph practically every inch of the Earth every day. The result is an explosion of geo-enabled unclassified information that has turned the imagery-based discipline of geointelligence on its head.

This change could even produce a new breed of intelligence analyst that exploits imagery and geospatial data from the unprecedented fount of unclassified information.

September 1, 2017
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The challenges facing the intelligence community (IC) have never been greater in both degree and diversity. New threats are emerging constantly, old threats are becoming more serious, and capabilities menacing national security are increasingly innovative. The greatest impediment to addressing these dynamic challenges may be internal rather than external: insufficient resources.

September 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

Superman might have beaten bullets with his speed, but the U.S. Defense Department intends to do better. It has its sights set on developing cognitive technologies—computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, for example—that are faster than the speed of human thought.

The military plans to tap machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), in particular, to enhance decision making.

August 21, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

Geospatial imagery as well as facial recognition and other biometrics are driving the intelligence community’s research into artificial intelligence. Other intelligence activities, such as human language translation and event warning and forecasting, also stand to gain from advances being pursued in government, academic and industry research programs funded by the community’s research arm.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is working toward breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, or AI, through a number of research programs. All these AI programs tap expertise in government, industry or academia.

August 18, 2017
Kimberly Underwood
Cyber attacks in the United States usually pass though universities or susceptible third-party infrastructure, explains Kevin Mandia, CEO of FireEye, a cybersecurity company.

The governments of Iran, North Korea, Russia and China are responsible for 90 percent of attacks on U.S. government agencies and private companies, said a leading cybersecurity expert at a recent conference. Most attacks come in the form of spear-phishing or email-related breaches.

August 15, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, USMC, director, Defense Intelligence Agency, speaks at the Department of Defense Intelligence Information System 2017 Worldwide Conference.

To Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, USMC, director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), modern warfare is a cognitive battle. To be successful, warfare must strive to control information.

In part, war is still a violent clash between hostile forces, with each force trying to impose their will on the other, the general said. Warfighting may still look like two armies crashing into one another on the battlefield.

“[This] nature of warfare hasn’t changed,” he stated. “War remains an active force to compel an adversary, nothing less.”

August 1, 2017
By Orlando Padilla

No one likes a snitch. Yet whistleblowers or leakers have been sharing sensitive national secrets and agitating government waters since the country’s founding, usually to the ire of those in power. Today, spilling secrets seems more pervasive than ever. Recent leaks radiating from the National Security Agency (NSA), the CIA, the U.S. Defense Department and the White House leave little doubt that investigators are poring over every detail.

Understanding why leakers leak is just as important as grasping how they do it. Determining the motives behind someone’s deliberate action to share government secrets requires concerted due diligence after the incident.

August 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is developing a set of common definitions to unify descriptions of cyberthreats used by different elements of the intelligence community. The effort seeks to bridge differences among various segments of the community when it comes to assessing these threats and reporting them to government organizations and industry. A common vernacular will help generate a common threat picture that can serve government and industry alike, experts agree.

July 17, 2017
IARPA), the research arm for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has announced the Functional Map of the World (fMoW) challenge, which officially kicks off in August.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research arm for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has announced the functional Map of the World (fMoW) Challenge, which officially kicks off in August. The challenge invites experts to develop deep learning and automation technologies to classify points of interest from satellite imagery. The goal is to promote research in object identification and classification to automatically identify facility, building and land use.

July 7, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Robert Dixon, special adviser for innovation, DIA, announces the agency’s third industry day series set for August 2-3 at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning is a hot topic for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the agency isn’t letting conventional thinking stand in the way of finding innovative ideas. The upcoming Director’s 3rd Quarterly Industry Day is just one example. From planning to execution, the two-day event is designed to find new capabilities and business processes from the private sector and academia.

June 28, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
DIA Director Lt. Gen Vincent Stewart, USMC, who was recently tapped to become U.S. Cyber Command’s deputy commander, says analyzing and distributing the growing amount of data the intelligence community collects is a constant challenge.

Senior intelligence officials identified the increasing amount of data and how to handle it as the one of the largest challenges the intelligence community faces today. “We are collecting more data than we can effectively process,” said Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen Vincent Stewart, USMC. “What we process, we struggle to make sense of, and what we understand, we can’t effectively disseminate across a global enterprise to ensure it helps drive critical decision making.”

June 28, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman and Breann Pendleton

As industry and government work to hammer out complex details in the cyberthreat intelligence struggle, each side expects support from the other—but both must improve the foundational understanding of the capabilities each brings to the table. Many of these issues will define the agenda of AFCEA’s Classified Cyber Forum, to be held July 13 at the Heritage Conference Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

June 1, 2016
The DragonflEye, a cyborg insect intended for a variety of missions, recently completed its first test flight.

The DragonflEye, a cyborg insect intended for a variety of missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, has liftoff.

The system was created by researchers at Charles Stark Draper Laboratories Inc. and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus. The dragonfly wears a tiny backpack fitted with electronics, sensors and a solar cell. A light source charges the solar cell, which powers the backpack.

The DragonflEye recently completed its first test flight for data gathering purposes.

June 9, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

Diverse sciences ranging from forensics to nanoscale chemical sampling and storage are among the research opportunities being targeted by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to support future U.S. intelligence community activities. Some of these research areas are offered in a series of proposers’ days in advance of broad agency announcements, while others have passed that step and are in the request for information stage.

May 10, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
The home page of the ODNI’s Xpress challenge serves both as an information resource about the competition and a portal for potential entrants. Organizations are able to register to compete right up to the end of the contest on July 5.

More than 245 companies, organizations and academic institutions are vying to develop machine analytics tools for the intelligence community in an open competition. The starting gun for this challenge went off in April, and a total prize purse of $500,000 awaits, including $270,000 for the top five performing teams. Another $230,000 will be awarded in additional categories.

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