Catherine Marsh, director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, is hiring personnel to fill several new office director positions. The new personnel will help recruit program managers, develop and guide programs, and strengthen relationships with the intelligence community, enhancing the transition of technologies from researchers to users.
Whether it’s propaganda that has a grain of truth, or it’s more deliberate disinformation that adversaries distribute to alter public opinion and gain an advantage, deceptive content and easy access to the mass population via social media pose a high threat to institutions and democracy. Intentionally or accidentally, groups and individuals have the ability to quickly promote falsehoods, making it difficult for governments, businesses and citizens to take corrective action.
Industry and government organizations are eager to find ways to combine structured and unstructured data to improve communications about national security threats to the public more effectively. Merging this information will enable the intelligence community (IC) to take advantage of the strengths of both data types and allow analysts to quickly search and assess structured data with the wealth of insights in the unstructured environment.
U.S. adversaries are trying to take control of cyberspace as a medium, resulting in implications to our freedom of maneuver and access in cyberspace, says Brig. Gen. Gregory Gagnon, USAF, director of Intelligence (A2), Headquarters Air Combat Command (ACC), Joint Base Langley-Eustis. Increasing cyberspace activity is coming from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.
“We are seeing it not just in volume, but we are seeing an expansion in the ways that they use cyberspace, whether it is to steal information, whether it is to directly influence our citizens or whether it is to disrupt critical infrastructure,” Gen. Gagnon reports. The general spoke at the AFCEA Tidewater chapter’s recent monthly virtual luncheon.
The United States’ recent reorganization of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is more of a targeted realignment based on the new threat picture, according to an NCTC official. A greater emphasis is being given to the center’s vital identities intelligence mission with an eye toward supporting mission partners in the midst of other threats, such as peer competition.
(Third of a three-part series)
The United States must amass a global intelligence capability built around an all-of-nation approach to threat detection and action, says a national security analyst. This includes increasing human intelligence, but it also would entail the intelligence community utilizing the tools it has and then developing a better “brothernet” further out in terms of forecasting.
(Part two of a three-part series)
As the world watches the COVID-19 coronavirus wreak havoc, the potential of a man-made pandemic is offering its own allure to bad actors, ranging from nation-states to rogue organizations. Even if an organization lacks the wherewithal to develop or deploy a biological weapon, lessons already learned are demonstrating that a pandemic offers great opportunities for mayhem and profit, a national security expert says.
(Part one of a three-part series)
The nation must realign its strategic objectives to build out its future readiness in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, says an analyst specializing in anticipatory developments. Intelligence analysts, with the aid of new technologies, must be able to combine data from a variety of inputs both to foresee emerging crises and to anticipate future threats before they become a full-fledged menace. The intelligence community and national decision makers must be prepared to view multiple problems as part of a whole in which they enhance one another to generate more severe challenges.
Aggressive Chinese and Russian counterspace capabilities have fundamentally changed threats in the space domain, and the United States must now make some transformational changes to its strategic warfare in this new environment. The U.S. Defense Department overall, and the U.S. Space Force and unified Space Command in particular, face three critical challenges that will be fundamental to using space to warfighters’ advantage and remaining a world military leader.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is working more closely with the intelligence community and is partnering with the National Security Agency (NSA) on a number of cybersecurity-related efforts, officials say.
The National Intelligence University (NIU) has upgraded its curriculum with an enhanced focus on applied data science for intelligence. This thrust, which reflects the changing global threat picture, includes the creation of a certificate program for those seeking to specialize in the discipline.
The NSF commissioned the report this past summer to better understand the threats to basic research posed by foreign governments who seek to violate the principles of scientific ethics and research integrity.
The intelligence officers responsible for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) organizations played their China cards face up as they described a nation bent on world domination at the expense of Western values and freedoms. In an overflow panel at TechNet Indo-Pacific 2019, being held November 19-21 in Honolulu, these experts—called the “2s” for their billet designation—cited facts to buttress their observations that China has abandoned its longtime cover stories and is now waging all-out competition with the institutions and nations that defined the cooperative postwar era.
Making more intelligence available to a wider range of customers, including the general public, is a major goal of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s intelligence directorate. This represents a bit of a departure from the traditional role of limiting intelligence information to only decision makers and warfighters, and it acknowledges the strategic importance of information in the public realm.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) harbors no illusions about China’s capabilities and intentions, its officials say. Experts who long have followed the Middle Kingdom’s official publications and statements have understood the nation’s aggressive nature and threat to peace and security, according to the director of intelligence (J-2) for INDOPACOM. These issues are now front and center for INDOPACOM as China expands its military and political reach to disrupt the peace and security of the entire Indo-Pacific region.
The sophisticated nature of cyber attacks and intellectual property theft performed by adversaries is only increasing, as nation-state actors continue to mount attacks to gain valuable information from the United States, its military and private companies.
The blend of cyber and human espionage is what makes China particularly effective in mounting these kinds of attacks, said Mark Kelton, senior advisor, Chertoff Group and former senior executive of the CIA. The threats to U.S. intellectual property and digitally based assets are not slowing down anytime soon, stated Sean Berg, senior vice president and general manager, Global Governments and Critical Infrastructure, Forcepoint.
For U.S. intelligence agencies, identity is all about “trying to find bad guys,” said Kathleen Lane, the identity intelligence executive for the Office of the National Director of Intelligence.
In a rare public appearance at the AFCEA International Federal Identity Forum and Expo in Tampa, Florida, Lane explained that her attendance was part of a push by ODNI to be more transparent about the increasing U.S. use of identity intelligence.
To guard America’s borders against a lengthening list of threats, the new interagency National Vetting Center (NVC) is flipping the script on watchlisting, officials said Monday.
Instead of compiling lists of individuals believed linked to terrorism or some other threat, the NVC is figuring out how to leverage all the information held by U.S. government agencies about any individual applying for entry to the country, the center’s director, Monte Hawkins, told AFCEA International’s Federal Identity Forum and Expo in Tampa, Florida.
Foreign countries are likely to continue their cyber-based disinformation campaigns as an inexpensive way of shaping thinking in democracies, according to a panel of experts at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit on September 5. Only a concerted effort by government, the commercial sector and the public can blunt its effects, especially as the 2020 elections loom.
“Disinformation is not the weaponization of knowledge, it’s the weaponization of cognition,” declared Brett Horvath, president, Guardians.ai. “To have a coherent strategy, it has to be built on principles: What are you defending, and what are you attacking?”
With space assuming greater importance as a military domain with its own designated command, the U.S. intelligence community must dedicate assets and procedures to providing vital information about space-based operations. For decades, the ultimate high ground was a valuable source of intelligence across the spectrum of national security. Now, its value as an intelligence target is growing as much as its importance as an operational domain.