911 Commission Report Intelligence and Information Sharing Essay

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Intelligence, Information Sharing, and the 9/11 Commission Report

Intelligence versus information

There two terms are fundamentally different for a number of reasons. The reason the terms are different can be decoded by investigating the ‘why’ from the information gathered. According to Lance (2017) the ‘how’ or ‘what’ is not important in decoding intelligence information. The resource needed to produce valued and true intelligence is by understanding why. The sole purpose any entity receives finished intelligence is to make it possible for the entity to make strategic, operational and tactical decisions with the information received. The media takes information received and takes steps towards transforming this information into stories hence creating actionable intelligence. In essence, according to Lance (2017) intelligence changes the how and what in information into when and why in the process of decision making. Information only becomes finished intelligence through detailed analysis of that information.

Tallmadge (2016) defines information as knowledge that is communicated concerning a circumstance or particular fact. On intelligence, Tallmadge (2016) defines it as the process of seeking information, determining what that information means, and following this up by using the information to take strategic action. Information is available everywhere from sources such as newspapers, daily news, blogs, one on one conversations etc. Intelligence on the other hand often details the information that is not necessarily readily and freely available. Intelligence information may not be found within public domains (Tallmadge, 2016). Intelligence as perceived by the public is privileged information which is intended to be consumed by specific audiences (Mostly security officials). Intelligence is an art of gathering the protected and privileged information and using it to the benefit of the public.

From the perspective of Goldfarb (2016), the principle difference between intelligence and information is data. Data does not have any context by itself. It would not be helpful to anyone in trying to solve a particular problem. In determining the difference between data and intelligence context is very important. Some of the questions that one must ask themselves in order to understand the difference include: At what stage of an attack would the data be fundamental? What is the activity related to the data? What is the date for the activity? What business does the activity affect? Contextual details are important in differentiating intelligence from information. These contextual details are quite few. It is only the information that has an associated context that can qualify to be considered as intelligence (Goldfarb, 2016).

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In the absence of context this is just data.

Intelligence can only demonstrate its true power if it is applied effectively on real world situations. The effectiveness and value of intelligence can only be realized through an excellent strategic plan and a risk based strategy to security. Intelligence must be mapped onto relevant priorities and goals the come out of strategic approach to security (Goldfarb, 2016). This way, organizations become more strategic and selective in their clamor for intelligence. The iterations and metrics of intelligence are defined by continued re-assessment and recapitulations. Successful intelligence information utilizes continuous reassessments, tune ups and updates depending on the challenges, risks and threats that must be mitigated. The bottom-line is that context is everything when it comes to intelligence (Goldfarb, 2016). It is only under the right context that data can be viewed as intelligence instead of it simply being viewed as information. Intelligence also becomes valuable if the correct framework under which it is applied is actualized. Organizations that have a good understanding of this are able to benefit more from the value that the intelligence provides.

Based on this understanding it can be deduced that information can be freely shared between agencies and organizations. However, the value attached to intelligence would make it difficult for the institutions that hold it to share it without some kind of understanding. For instance, Facebook holds intelligence information about consumer trends. These consumer trends can be very helpful to some business entities that would use it to reposition themselves and capitalize on the given segments of the population with an objective of expanding their customer base. Facebook is never willing to share this information freely.

Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft are some of the technology companies that are not quite amenable to the sharing of information. National governments will also not share privileged security information freely without some form of regulation. The multinational technology companies probably have more data on their users than any government could have. A company like Google would want to guard its own interests. The US 4th amendment was put in place to guard the people against unreasonable seizures and searches (Whittaker, 2013). Google is not fully subject to this regulation. These multinational technology companies use consumer information to make money (Whittaker, 2013). These companies work hard….....

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Goldfarb, J. (2016). What is the Difference between Information and Intelligence? Security Week. Retrieved, 30 October, 2018 from https://www.securityweek.com/what- difference-between-information-and-intelligence

Lance, J. (2017). Fail vs Finished: The Difference between Information and Intelligence, MIS Training Institute Holdings. Retrieved, 30 October, 2018 from https://misti.com/infosec- insider/fail-vs-finished-the-difference-between-information-and-intelligence

Tallmadge, B. (2016). Information vs. Intelligence, Intelligence 101. Retrieved, 30 October, 2018 from http://www.intelligence101.com/information-vs-intelligence/

The 9/11 Commission Report (2011).The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (Authorized Edition). Place of publication not identified: W.W. Norton & Company. Retrieved, 30 October, 2018 from https://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf

Travers, R. (2009). Information Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures: Revisiting Conventional Wisdom. Galileo Awards Program (pp. 1–10).

Whittaker, Z. (2013). What Google does when a government requests your data, ZDnet. Retrieved, 30 October, 2018 from https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-google-does- when-a-government-requests-your-data/

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