Intelligence is one of the five domains composing the Information Sharing Environment (ISE). The federal level partner with the primary coordinating role in this community is the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)

The ODNI governs the Information Sharing Environment and was created by statute in 2004 to oversee the Intelligence Community (IC), which is currently comprised of 17 agencies. The ODNI has an established Civil Liberties and Privacy Office (CLPO) to ensure privacy and civil liberties are an integral part of the intelligence mission. The Director of National Intelligence or his/her designee chairs the Insider Threat Task Force established by Executive Order 13587.

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) heads the ODNI and serves as the President’s principal advisor on intelligence. The DNI is also responsible for improving information sharing and integration across the IC.

Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE)

The role of the Program Manager of the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) is to manage, plan for, and oversee the implementation of the ISE across federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and international partners.

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) established the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the Terrorism Screening Center (TSC). Section 1016 specifically focuses on information sharing and created the position of Program Manager to oversee the implementation and management of the ISE, as well as to grant responsibility for information sharing among all appropriate federal, state, local, and tribal entities, and the private sector through the use of policy guidelines and technologies.

The PM-ISE issues government-wide procedures, guidelines, instructions, and functional standards for the management and proper operation of the ISE. The PM-ISE engages fusion centers directly to help drive progress. In addition, the PM-ISE has several resources on the privacy, civil rights and civil liberties framework in the ISE, as well as resources for state and major urban area fusion centers, including the ISE Privacy Guidelines. In addition, the PM-ISE has launched a website, Building Blocks, for ISE organizations to share success stories on engaging stakeholders, implementing standards for safeguarding and sharing information, and creating governance bodies.

National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), as amended, created the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). NCTC serves as the primary organization in the U.S. government for integrating and analyzing all intelligence possessed or acquired by the U.S. government pertaining to terrorism or counterterrorism (excepting intelligence pertaining exclusively to domestic terrorism); serves as the central and shared knowledge bank on terrorism information; provides all-source intelligence support to government-wide counterterrorism activities; establishes the information technology systems and architectures within the NCTC and between the NCTC and other agencies that enable access to, as well as integration, dissemination, and use of, terrorism information.

For an understanding of the efforts to which NCTC goes to protect privacy and civil liberties, see an informational paper about protections in the NCTC Guidelines.

Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (JCAT)

In 2013, the Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (JCAT) replaced the Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group (ITACG), originally established by the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. JCAT builds upon the mission and successes of the ITACG, which was established in 2007 based on recommendations of the 9 /11 Commission.

“The mission of the [JCAT] is to improve information sharing and enhance public safety. In coordination with the intelligence elements of the FBI and DHS, JCAT will collaborate with other members of the Intelligence Community to research, produce, and disseminate counterterrorism intelligence products for federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies and the private sector and advocate for the counterterrorism intelligence requirements and needs of these partners throughout the Intelligence Community.”

Lines of effort include:

  • Producing “clear, relevant federally-coordinated threat information on significant international terrorism or terrorism-related events that have the potential to impact local or regional public safety conditions in the United States.”
  • Ensuring “terrorism-related information intended for state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) entities is presented in a usable format that is, to the extent possible, unclassified, to facilitate further dissemination.”
  • Advising and making “recommendations to the Intelligence Community on how to tailor its products to satisfy the needs of SLTT consumers of intelligence.”
  • Conducting “outreach to the Intelligence Community and strengthen partnerships with SLTT partners to further enhance the awareness and understanding of the SLTT role in counterterrorism.”
  • Maintaining “a working knowledge of relevant terrorism, homeland security, and weapons of mass destruction issues.”

The JCAT works with analysts to create products for SLTT agencies and private sector partners; requesting classification downgrades for terrorism-related products suitable for public safety personnel; helping to get appropriately classified information to SLTT agency and private sector partner “boots on the ground”; and facilitating briefing opportunities for analysts to interact with SLTT agency and private sector partners.

Fusion Center Note: ITACG released an intelligence guide for first responders useful for fusion center personnel.