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What can Feds learn from Intelink?

What can federal workers in offices or agencies that don't deal with life or death situations learn from the intelligence community’s five years of work with Intelink?

The question came up during a panel discussion entitled “Shifting from Need-To-Know to Need-To-Share” at the Gov 2.0 Expo, co-sponsored by O’Reilly Media and UBM TechWeb in Washington, D.C.

Intelink is a group of secure intranets and suite of social media tools that fosters sharing of information among U.S. intelligence agencies, contractors and sponsored academics. The suite of tools includes the widely-reported on Intellipedia, the intelligence community’s online system for data sharing that includes wikis.

As a panel of intell experts extolled the virtues of Intelink, an attendee told the panel members that most people don’t work with the Defense Intelligence Agency or similar agencies. Now that the intelligence community is talking about moving from a need-to-know to a need-to-share environment, the attendee asked, what have they learned that they can share across government?

Alex Voultepsis, chief technology officer and intelligence community chief information officer for Intelink within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, replied that the development and use of Intelink has fostered the collaborative sharing of information to get the mission accomplished regardless of agency. That type of effort transcends the government space, he said.

“I think we have to think about the need-to-get it done,” said Joe Boutte, a strategic advisor with TASC, a provider of systems engineering and advisory services to civilian, defense and intelligence agencies.

Sometimes tasks cannot be accomplished because people might be out of the office traveling or sick, he said. So if he has a question about some topic he doesn’t have expertise in and there are only certain people with information, he can turn to a network he can trust.

“I don’t know who is going to answer and sometimes answers come back with different perspectives that I hadn’t even thought out,” Boutte said. So the need to get it done – which is really all about situational awareness -- is something that works outside the intelligence community across government.

 

Posted by Rutrell Yasin on May 28, 2010 at 7:20 PM


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