Intelligence Community

December 1, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
A Customs and Border Protection officer takes biometrics from an arriving foreign visitor. Integrating biometrics into the pre-arrival vetting process is one of the National Vetting Center’s key tasks.  Customs and Border Protection

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.

July 12, 2019
 

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.

July 3, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Thousands of British and French troops wait on the dunes of Dunkirk Beach, France, for transport to England during World War II, between May 26 and June 4, 1940. The Central Intelligence Agency cites the military evacuation of Dunkirk as the time its predecessor agency started depending on the private sector for key strategic intelligence. Credit: Shutterstock/Everett Historical

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. 

March 5, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Intelligence community (IC) leaders, led by Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence, testify before the U.S. Senate as to the growing threats the country is facing from non-state and state actors. The IC’s CIO, John Sherman, is calling for urgency in developing U.S. capabilities, so the country will not be surpassed by adversaries' use of cyber, artificial intelligence and other technologies. Credit: ODNI

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).

January 29, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, released today the intelligence community’s annual threat assessment, which lists cyber, artificial intelligence and weapons of mass destruction as some of the top technological threats. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

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.

January 9, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
IARPA announced today two new technology challenges related to credibility assessment and automated video surveillance. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

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.

January 9, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
IARPA has issued two requests for information, one for classified deep learning and machine learning research and another for novel cooling solutions for portable devices. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

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.

September 4, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, describes the challenges facing the community at the Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photography by Herman Farrer

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.

July 23, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Social media data could become integral to detecting violations of nuclear nonproliferation agreements. Researchers have developed a computation model that incorporates often incompatible sources of data, such as satellite imagery and Twitter posts that indicate when a violation has occurred. Credit: Geralt/Pixabay

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.

March 30, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
Charlie Allen, principal at The Chertoff Group, says the Intelligence Community must do a better job of anticipating abrupt discontinuities in adversaries' actions.

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.”

April 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
NASA’s development of new communications satellites began in 1960 based on the theory that placing them in a geosynchronous orbit would keep the satellites in the same area of the sky relative to the rotating Earth. Just 17 months later, NASA launched Syncom I, but the satellite stopped sending signals a few seconds before it reached its final orbit and was soon replaced by Syncom II.  NASA

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.

February 20, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
The volume and variety of information that adversaries are surreptitiously collecting and analyzing from U.S. information systems requires new ways to detect enemies. Credit: Shutterstock

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.

February 13, 2018
Posted By George I. Seffers

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.

4/7/17
By George I. Seffers
Hugh Montgomery, who jumped into Normandy on D-Day with the 82nd Airborne, served in the early days of the CIA.

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.

February 15, 2017
 

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.

September 21, 2016
 

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.

August 23, 2016
By Ed Hammersla

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.

September 23, 2015
 

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.

July 21, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

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. 

April 6, 2015
By Lewis Shepherd

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!

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