ISE Annual Report to the Congress 2015

“As President, I have no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety and security of the United States and the American people. Meeting this responsibility requires the closest possible cooperation among our intelligence, military, diplomatic, homeland security, law enforcement, and public health communities, as well as with our partners at the State and local level and in the private sector. This cooperation, in turn, demands the timely and effective sharing of intelligence and information about threats to our Nation with those who need it, from the President to the police officer on the street.”

President Barack Obama in his forward to the 2012 National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding (NSISS).

The terrorism-related Information Sharing Environment (ISE) is a critical initiative to strengthen responsible information sharing across communities, agencies, and levels of government to implement goals set forth by President Obama in the 2012 NSISS. This report details the three core lines of effort – pursuing implementation of the NSISS; advancing the domestic ISE architecture; and enhancing the core ISE information interoperability frameworks, standards, and architectures – and identifies opportunities to enhance the ISE.

Federal, state, and local departments and agencies are maturing the ISE across the domestic information sharing and safeguarding architecture while maintaining strong protections for privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. The vast majority of our Nation’s front line officers, investigators, and analysts, to include approximately 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers, reside with state and local partners. Knitting them all together – federal, state, local, tribal, territorial – into a coherent, coordinated and ever more effective distributed and decentralized architecture is the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment’s (PM-ISE) focus. In the past year, PM-ISE has led partner-based delivery of capabilities that successfully align three epochs and 40 plus years of criminal intelligence and law enforcement information sharing: Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) centers set up in the 1970s with an initial focus on regional organized crime; High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program created by the Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988; and Fusion Centers that arose as an organic state and local response after 9/11. Major accomplishments over the past year are highlighted in Appendix A.

~18,000 federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies
9,005 law enforcement and criminal justice agencies are RISS affiliates
2,037 agencies participate in the HIDTA program
40,187 agency and private sector liaisons across the National Network of Fusion Centers

States are demonstrating independent commitment toward advancing the ISE across a growing number of mission areas, and further developing state-wide ISEs as the building blocks for a National ISE. This provides a distributed, decentralized, and coordinated approach to scale the ISE, to reduce fragmentation, and to plan for and oversee the implementation of, and manage, the ISE. The threat and use of technology by threat actors, and the use of technology by agencies is evolving. The broader societal context for this evolution is diffuse and dynamic. Much remains to be done.