Increasing intelligence requirements and skillful collection technology have flooded the intelligence community with raw information. To address this problem, big data and artificial intelligence technologies aid the initial processing and exploitation of the information. But as technology continues to grow in capability, consumers must temper expectations regarding its impact on intelligence analysis.
Starting this fall, high school students in the state of Georgia will have the unique opportunity to take an elective course in intelligence and national security studies. The class will introduce students to the field of intelligence, the associated activities to gather intelligence, the roles of the U.S. intelligence community (IC), national security, the limits and capabilities of intelligence, careers in the field, and how intelligence plays a role in decision-making.
On July 23, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency officially opened its first unclassified innovation center, Moonshot Laboratories. Located within the facilities of T-REX, a nonprofit innovation and entrepreneur development center in St. Louis, Moonshot Labs aims to attract entrepreneurs and venture capitalists investing in geospatial-intelligence, or GEOINT, technologies. By locating such a facility outside of NGA’s classified infrastructure, it makes it easier for academia, nontraditional and traditional GEOINT companies to participate in technology and software development.
A crucial part of any association’s success is its young members. The future is much more certain when there is a steady stream of bright young professionals who will continue on the mission of the association.
At AFCEA, the Emerging Professionals in the Intelligence Community Committee is tasked with just that, among other efforts. Also known as EPIC, the committee is headed by Mark Kandra.
Both classified and unclassified symposiums build the bridge between industry and the intelligence community.
AFCEA’s Intelligence Committee is a group of intelligence community (IC) vets and leaders from military and industry, including small businesses and start-ups, with the goal of helping the IC build a better bridge between industry and government.
“We want candidates who work hard and want to build that bridge, but we also want to make sure they have the contacts to do that,” says Lt. Gen. Bob Noonan Jr., USA (Ret.), the chair of the Intelligence Committee.
J. Scott Cameron eagerly awaits the National Intelligence University’s (NIU's) “watershed moment” this weekend that will punctuate years of diligent work to “bring the university home … with ruthless government efficiency.”
On Sunday, the university officially transfers from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
This shift enables the staff, faculty and students to benefit directly from the intelligence community’s (IC) stakeholders and from the ODNI’s integrating role; bringing into its fold the educational efforts that are building the next generation of the country’s intelligence officers, said Cameron, the university’s president.
Future U.S. conflicts will be totally different from recent confrontations, and the U.S. intelligence environment is ill-suited for the scope and range of activities that will be required to support U.S. warfighters, said an intelligence community expert. Upgrading U.S. intelligence will require major leaps in technology as well as restructuring to face enemies that are far more capable over larger distances.
As U.S. intelligence agencies pivot from the war on terror to the new era of near-peer competition, the information landscape on which they operate is shifting dramatically, as detailed in the recently released report from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
For two decades, U.S. intelligence operated in an information poor environment—hunting its elusive adversaries through fleeting glimpses on surveillance video or wisps of cellphone traffic. And, thanks to the technical and operational excellence of U.S. collection, even that information poor environment often generated an overwhelming volume of data.
Revolutionary ways to gather, parse and share information in the innovation era is propelling the intelligence community into resourceful ways of doing business. To tackle the challenges lightning-speed technology changes and applications generate, 18 U.S. intelligence organizations must accept cultural changes and risk toleration to prepare for adversaries weaponizing the same capabilities against the U.S. and its allies, experts agree.
Similar to other members of the intelligence community, the U.S. Space Force is responsible for advancing intelligence-related mission objectives for U.S. national security. The service is performing space-related intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to provide key information and data to the community. Being part of the intelligence community is an important step for the year-old service, said Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, USAF, director, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), U.S. Space Force, speaking last Friday at a virtual Mitchell Institute event.
Starting this fall, high school students in the state of Georgia will have the unique opportunity to take an elective course in intelligence and national security studies. The class will introduce students to the field of intelligence, the associated activities to gather intelligence, the roles of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), national security, the limits and capabilities of intelligence, careers in the field, and how intelligence plays a role in decision-making.
For many in the U.S. intelligence community, choosing the profession was neither a career goal nor even a consideration until later in life. Few set out to join the agencies that comprise the community while in high school or college. This pattern—usually based on a knowledge gap—needs to change immediately to meet the United States’ national imperative for a talented and diverse workforce.
Like the rest of the world, the U.S. intelligence community has been forced to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic, which offers opportunities, but then again, U.S. adversaries are working from home as well, which may offer opportunities, intelligence experts pointed out during a February 23 AFCEA Intelligence Committee webinar.
The online event included Melissa Planert, director, Tradecraft and Technology Group, Analysis Directorate, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and Reid D, an innovator in secure government in the United Kingdom who did not want to be fully identified.
When they want to catch today’s outlaws, law enforcements officers must follow the money right into cyberspace. Like the rest of society, felons are using the latest technology not only to steal cash but also to launder it to finance other illegal activities, including human trafficking, drugs and terrorism.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond announced today the designation of the intelligence element of the U.S. Space Force as a member of the intelligence community (IC).
“This accession reaffirms our commitment to securing outer space as a safe and free domain for America’s interests,” said Ratcliffe. “American power in space is stronger and more unified than ever before. Today we welcome Space Force to the intelligence community and look forward to the power and ingenuity of a space security team unrivaled by any nation.”
The Space Force element is the first new organization to join the IC since 2006.
Challenge after challenge, women overcome barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields and organizations. Allow me to tell you my story. I am Technical Sgt. Bonnie Rushing in the United States Air Force and I am a woman warrior. I faced challenges from the very beginning of my time in the military, during training, and in operations. Not only have I overcome every obstacle along the way, I have come out on top. Let me take you through my journey as a woman warrior and plead for your aid in continued culture change.
The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping how companies support intelligence community work, in possibly the largest shift since 9/11, experts say. Facing immediate needs for telework in March, firms had to reconfigure how to support the high-level national security missions of organizations such as the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, the CIA and others.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) proved essential to the trusted intelligence workforce, experts say, as it ensured the continuity of serving the intelligence community, or IC, during this time, said Judi Dotson, executive vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton.
Two research programs at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, commonly known as IARPA, are now undergoing evaluation to see if they may provide solutions to help counter the growing COVID-19 pandemic, IARPA director Catherine Marsh tells SIGNAL Magazine.
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.
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 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 Department of Homeland Security interagency National Vetting Center has created an information clearinghouse that automatically checks the names of foreigners applying to come to the United States against highly classified databases in various intelligence agencies. The clearinghouse relies on a cloud architecture that agencies are building to share information and lays the foundation for powerful new tools that could leverage artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to help find foreign travelers who might be a threat to U.S. national security.
DLT Solutions LLC, Herndon, Virginia, is being awarded a multiple-award, firm-fixed-price Department of Defense (DoD) Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) blanket purchase agreement (BPA) in accordance with the firms General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule contracts. The agreement is part of a multi-reseller/multi-software publisher software category management award for commercial-off-the-shelf software; information technology asset management software; software maintenance support; information technology professional services; and related services in support of DoD ESI and under the direction of Office of Management and Budget, Enterprise Software Category.
Charged with providing national security information to the nation, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, has had a long history of partnering with the industry to solve challenges. That need has not diminished, said Randy Burkett, staff historian from the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence.
Burkett, speaking at a recent Foundation for Innovation and Discovery (FINND) event, walked attendees through a few of the agency’s historically interesting challenges in which the industry came to its aid, beginning at the start of World War II.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s John Sherman, chief information officer (CIO) of the intelligence community, is alarmed about the shifting geopolitical forces around the world.
In his position since September 2017, Sherman is leading the flagship integration of the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise, known as IC ITE (and pronounced like eyesight), which has been a six-year effort to modernize the information technology (IT) for the 17 member agencies of the intelligence community (IC).
The United States faces a “toxic mix of threats,” Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, testified today before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence while unveiling the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has announced two new challenges: the Credibility Assessment Standardized Evaluation (CASE) Challenge, which seeks methods for measuring the performance of credibility assessment techniques and technologies, and the Activities in Extended Video (ActEV) Prize Challenge, which aims to develop algorithms that will monitor surveillance videos for suspicious activity.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is seeking information on research efforts in the area of machine learning with a particular focus on deep learning and in the area of cooling systems for small mobile devices.
Economics, crime, terrorism and technology form the basis of four major challenges confronting the U.S. intelligence community, according to its director. Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, described the causes of these challenges to a large luncheon audience on the first day of the 2018 Intelligence and National Security Summit sponsored by AFCEA International and INSA at National Harbor, Maryland.
Researchers at North Carolina (NC) State University have developed a new computational model that draws on normally incompatible data sets, such as satellite imagery and social media posts, to answer questions about what is happening in targeted locations. The model identifies violations of nuclear nonproliferation agreements.
The generation that remembers “duck and cover” also recalls headlines that included the words Soviet Union and impending dangers. Today, a combination of global instability, rising authoritarianism and democracies in retreat may lead to similar yet more dangerous situations, and this time, the headlines also are likely to include the words “People's Republic of China.”
Researchers working on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community are kicking off a program designed to develop a revolutionary capability for monitoring objects in geostationary orbit, including functioning satellites and hundreds of thousands of bits of space debris. The program will attempt to provide low-cost approaches for passive ground-based interferometric imaging of space objects, a technique using two or more telescopes or lenses.
The billions of bits and bytes that make government services, information sharing and even shopping easier also open the doors for adversaries to gather intelligence that aids their nefarious pursuits. AFCEA International’s Cyber Committee has published a white paper that describes several ways big data analytics can help cybersecurity analysts close those doors or at least shrink the gap and reduce vulnerabilities.
Russia, Iran and North Korea are testing more aggressive cyber attacks against the United States and partner nations, according to the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community delivered to Congress today by Dan Coats, director of national intelligence.
“The use of cyber attacks as a foreign policy tool outside of military conflict has been mostly limited to sporadic lower-level attacks. Russia, Iran and North Korea, however, are testing more aggressive cyber attacks that pose growing threats to the United States and U.S. partners,” the report states.
Editor’s note: Hugh Montgomery, a legendary longtime officer in the intelligence community and a diplomat, died April 6. Just two weeks ago, he gave an interview to SIGNAL Magazine comparing global threats decades ago and now. We would like to honor his service in the cause of freedom by publishing this excerpt from that article about his experiences over the years. The complete article will appear in the May issue of SIGNAL.
Volant Associates LLC,* Chantilly, Virginia, has been awarded a $14,005,098 cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E) Framework Integrated Collaborative Environment. Contractor will foster interoperability and collaboration of mission systems and capabilities within the Department of Defense and intelligence community by planning, analyzing, evaluating, designing, developing and testing a feasibility demonstration model of a collaborative framework for members of the DI2E community. Work will be performed at Chantilly, Virginia, and is expected to be complete by April 13, 2019.
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (HHM402-15-D-0014), was awarded a five-year time and materials task order with a maximum ceiling value of $268,000,000 if all options are exercised. The task order is incrementally funded, with $796,000 funded in fiscal 2016. The task order will provide infrastructure engineering and operation services to support Defense Intelligence Agency and intelligence community information technology requirements under the previously awarded Enhanced Solutions for the Information Technology Enterprise (E-SITE), multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract vehicle.
The world of intelligence sharing has gone from on a need-to-know basis between federal agencies to one in which those key players must, by necessity, combine disparate pieces of intel to ascertain a complete picture of potential threats.
Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nevada, has been awarded a $9,516,004 cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for enterprise engine software and hardware prototype system. Contractor will provide design and develop the technology and operational prototypes to satisfy the undersecretary of defense for intelligence goals of optimizing information sharing within the intelligence community (IC), and to enable decision making while maximizing IC capabilities to discover, access, retain, store, share, and exploit information.
U.S. lawmakers launched a bipartisan bid to boost the Department of Homeland Security's powers to better oversee cybersecurity compliance by federal agencies and intervene when they might fail to safeguard their networks.
The Senate bill would strengthen the department's ability to enforce cybersecurity standards governmentwide, and “in the event that a federal agency chooses not to do so, [the] DHS would have the authority to stand in … and prevent worse damages from occurring,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said in announcing her plans to submit the bill to the full Senate on Tuesday.
Every now and then a poll result pops up that surprises me. Results sometimes are counter-intuitive, or at least counter-narrative from what we're led to believe in major media coverage.
Case in point: An early 2015 poll shows that after nearly two years of a negative spotlight on the U.S. intelligence community, and particularly on the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the American people still have a positive view of the NSA and CIA. More startlingly, young Americans have more favorable views of NSA and CIA than older Americans!
Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a nearly $50 million contract to provide fully functional messaging systems to the operational messaging community, including Air Force Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency, Department of Defense, intelligence community members, federal government departments/agencies and our coalition partners for messaging and data handling systems. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, New York, is the contracting activity.
Yesterday's blog coverage was just too short to include the depth of advice the experts at the Small Business Intelligence Forum shared, so here are a few more ideas: -Savvy SIGNAL Scape reader Ross Andrews, ARC Program Manager, Contractor - BVTI, beat this reporter to the punch on a very important item that should be on every small company's list if it wants to do business with the intelligence community: register with the Acquisition Resource Center. See his full comment at http://bit.ly/bXmzFM.
It's sometimes difficult to figure out what's the bigger secret - intelligence or the acquisition processes of the organizations that gather it. CIA, NSA, DIA plus 13 more agencies are collectively known as the intelligence community (IC), but that's where most of the similarity ends when it comes to these information hunters and gathers when it comes to purchasing goods, services or "carbon units." One fact is absolutely true and as open source as is possible: small businesses have advocates in IC agencies that fight tooth and nail in their interest. Some of these experts presented valuable secrets as well as common sense about how to capture the IC's business at the AFCEA International Small Business Intelligence Forum.
AFCEA's Intelligence Department has launched yet another blog. This one focuses on how technology can (or should) be used by intelligence professionals. Bob Gourley serves as the man behind the mask--er, blog. He's the founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm, and he is also the primary blogger at CTOvision.com. If that's not enough, Gourley is a former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a former senior executive with Northrop Grumman.
The intelligence community has been leading the government pack in its collaboration efforts. Christopher Dorobek points to 9/11 and other examples to show how government realized it needed a better way to collect, process and share intelligence data in this month's Incoming column, "The Intelligence Community Writes the Book on Collaboration."
Delays in obtaining security clearances are actually the second biggest problem for companies of any size that want to work with members of the intelligence community. The first is what many firms affectionately call the chicken-and-egg problem. Getting a security clearance for corporate personnel is not possible without having a contract that requires secured personnel; however, companies cannot be awarded a contract that requires security clearances until they have personnel that have received security clearances.
An impressive panel featuring participants from the some of the most well-known "three-lettered" intelligence organizations got down to the nuts and bolts of intelligence agencies' requirements. The discussion, which took place this morning at the AFCEA Small Business Intelligence Forum in Fairfax, Virginia, also centered on where the organizations plan to go in the near future in the information technology realm.
Representatives from the DIA, NGA and NSA shared their insights about how to get a foot in the door at intelligence community agencies during the second panel presentation at the AFCEA Small Business Intelligence Forum this morning in Fairfax, Virginia. All agreed that it requires more than the standard marketing approach but emphasized that it is worth the investment in time and talent.
Dr. William Nolte, research professor and director of the Center for Intelligence Research and Education, University of Maryland, laid the problems on the line regarding industry and intelligence community organizations during the AFCEA Small Business Intelligence Forum, which took place today in Fairfax, Virginia. Ranging from determining who is in charge to the acquisition process, Nolte forthrightly shared that the many of the systems that facilitate government-industry partnerships are broken.