Meyerrose to head new intelligence committee

The intelligence community has launched a new steering committee to guide its information sharing activities, under the leadership of associate director for national intelligence and CIO Lt. Gen. Dale Meyerrose (USAF-Ret.).

Director of national intelligence Mike McConnell named Meyerrose the Intelligence Community Information Sharing Executive and chairman of the Information Sharing Steering Committee.

The DNI office stated that the purpose of the new panel would be to help "move the Intelligence Community beyond the 'need to share' philosophy and more to a 'responsibility to provide.'"

The intelligence community's push to information sharing has surfaced in various ways since late 2001. One indicator was the change in the name of the annual Intelink conference that historically had brought together intelligence professionals to discuss issues related to various classified networks. Last year's Intelink conference featured unclassified sessions, and bore the moniker "Dare to Share."

Information sharing technology remains a rather unfamiliar, not to say suspect, topic at the operational levels of the spy world, however. One indicator of this problem was highlighted during a recent background discussion of the spread of wiki information sharing technology by an intelligence official.

Wiki technology advocates within the intelligence community, known as intellipedians, were circulating among their colleagues promoting the use of the collaborative social software to create intelligence products, the official said.

The general response among the intelligence technologists the intellipedians approached was "It's great! Can you build one for us?," according to the official. That question indicated that the technologists had not grasped the intellipedians' premise that wiki information sharing should permeate the community, the official said.

The DNI office said yesterday's in its press statement that the new committee would guide information sharing technology as well as related policy, budget and process issues. "Committee members will use the existing intelligence community governance structure to the greatest extent possible, rather than create a host of working groups and committees," the statement said.

One of Meyerrose's first steps when he began work as intelligence community CIO was to dissolve dozens of interagency working groups and committees and centralize their functions in his office.

Wilson P. Dizard III is a staff writer for Washington Technology's affiliate publication, Government Computer News.

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