Open Data

Information Sharing and Communication

Since the early development of the Department of Homeland Security, a recurring issue has been related to the lack of communication along with information sharing. Rewind sixteen years ago to 9/11, information sharing amongst agencies was quite low. Information was being kept within particular silos relating to what agencies individuals worked within. No silos would communicate with the other, and that caused a great deal of controversy, especially when the horror of 9/11 struck. The CIA had information that they withheld from the FBI that may have been beneficial if released before the attack happened. And who knows what other information was withheld. Before 9/11, there was no rapid change to break the silos along with the “wall” between the sixteen intelligence agencies. Although one of the most tragic events to ever occur in the United States, lack of communication and information sharing was not only a concern during that time. In prior years, Congress and other groups apart of the legislative and executive branches had reviewed several policies related to information sharing and communication between intelligence agencies. Multiple incidents had occurred where the barriers were quite evident such as international terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and other international activities related to domestic and foreign intelligence.

 

Fast forward to 2013, the Boston Marathon Bombing was one of the first times the DHS integration of communication and information sharing showed a great deal of improvement. DHS established information sharing between local, federal, public, stakeholders, and intergovernmental outreach. With doing so, DHS fulfilled one of its key missions to protect against information sharing downfalls along with protecting the country from transnational threats. Although the Boston Marathon Bombing was a great example of the enhanced efforts of DHS, communication along with information sharing still needs to be improved. This is a key aspect related to DHS because in order to prevent terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage our borders, enforce and administer our immigration laws, safeguard and secure cyber space, and ensure resilience to disasters, the walls between agencies need to be broken down further. DHS needs to continue to break their wall along with the walls of surrounding partners in order to ensure a safe, secure, and resilient nation.

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Idea No. 64