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ISE Annual Report Highlights 2013 Strategy, Progress, and Challenges

Last year was a big year for information sharing. This past spring, the Boston Marathon bombing was a cruel reminder of the importance of providing our law enforcement officials whatever they need to “connect the dots” and keep our cities and neighborhoods safe. More recently, our nation’s security was compromised because an insider disclosed classified information to the news media. These things remind us of the importance of strengthening information sharing and safeguarding together.

We are releasing our 2013 ISE Annual Report to the Congress to share with you the many successes of the last year, progress made toward our goals, and to highlight the remaining challenges. This report, submitted to the Congress on behalf of the President, provides a transparent assessment of the progress and performance of the departments and agencies charged with responsibly sharing counterterrorism, homeland security, and WMD information.

The National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding

In the Report, we highlight progress made against the goals of the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding. The National Strategy states that information should be treated as a national asset and used it to enhance national security decisionmaking. We organized our report around the goals of the National Strategy.

Inside the Report

The six sections of the Annual Report are:

  • Collective Action: This section describes the progress and status of many foundational programs to share counterterrorism, homeland security, and WMD information across federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies, the private sector, and foreign partners and allies.
  • Standards: This section addresses the progress of ongoing efforts and new initiatives in information discovery and access, which are processes that enable a user to both identify the existence of information and retrieve known information.
  • Shared Services: This section focuses on information sharing initiatives that increase efficiency, reduce duplication, and improve mission success through shared services.
  • Safeguarding: This section describes important achievements over the past year in securing ISE information sharing.
  • Protecting Privacy and Civil Rights: This section details our efforts to balance information needs with civil liberties, compliance activities, and next steps.
  • Culture of Sharing: This section outlines our progress in improving the oversight and management functions that support information sharing and safeguarding, including aligning governance bodies, managing performance, training, and developing incentives for information sharing and safeguarding throughout the ISE.

In addition, some of the projects highlighted in this year’s report include Indiana’s Data Exchange, the New Jersey ISE, the effectiveness of the National Network of Fusion Centers, FBI’s eGuardian, updates to HSIN, expansion of privacy policies, interoperability and countless others.

Our Vision

National security through responsible information sharing, which is our vision, is an increasing reality each and every day. We will continue to mature the ISE, using the National Strategy as our guiding framework, to support and further strengthen our mission partners in their efforts to keep Americans safe.

Where to Start

  • The Foreword and Executive Summary provide a high-level snapshot of our work to accelerate development of the ISE.
  • Throughout the report, and in detail in Appendix A, we describe successes, gaps, challenges, and opportunities to improve, including year-over-year comparisons.
  • In the Way Forward section, we describe the commitments we and our mission partners are strengthening to close gaps and further increase responsible information sharing capabilities.