Group offers security plan

A task force on national security Oct. 7 called for the new Department of Homeland Security to take the lead in shaping domestic information and intelligence priorities to inform policy-makers, rather than the FBI.

The recommendation was made in a report issued by the Markle Foundation's Task Force on National Security in the Information Age. The report, "Protecting America's Freedom in the Information Age," calls for a networked information technology system that shares information among local, state, regional and federal agencies.

People outside Washington, such as police officers, airport officials, FBI agents and emergency room doctors, do most information gathering; therefore, the government needs to use information technology to harness the power of this widely distributed information to protect Americans against terrorist threats, said Zoe Baird, president of the Markle Foundation and co-chairperson of the task force. Baird served the Carter administration as associate counsel to the president.

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