02 November 2006

Intelligence Fusion: The Race Against Time...

Human intelligence may be the most sought after way to prevent new threats to your organization. Yet that is never enough to give you total peace of mind. You have to implement multiple collection points for real-time and relevant information. The front line of intelligence analysis begins far in advance of the actual event or incident taking place. Companies like QL2 have provided some of the tools to detect the presence of new and relevant information in the millions of web sites across the Internet. They assist CxO's in navigating their operational risk strategy execution across a competitive and increasingly threatening global landscape.

Now that people have cameras on their telephones, now even the common citizen can be collecting relevant intelligence or evidence of an incident in progress. Yet how do you sort through the thousands of sources without automation. Television crews are standing by in vans, helicopters and other Satcom vehicles listening to the EMS and Police scanners. Their ability to be on scene of a potentially threatening situation is now becoming a new strategic tool for those sworn to protect our country from a future terrorist attack.

CriticalTV is a comprehensive Web-based television search and monitoring service that allows users to search, track and view critical information from television news. The platform provides real-time monitoring and email alerts for organizations that require up-to-the-minute news and alerts on any term or subject. CriticalTV alerts users about a relevant clip seconds after a broadcast, and allows users to share the clip instantly within a workgroup via secure video-email or a private video gallery. Users can also order a professional transcript or hard copy online.

Critical Mention announced today that it has been awarded a multi-year contract to provide the FBI with a real-time web-based broadcast monitoring service. The service will generate automatic real-time alerts and enhance the ability of the FBI to search
international, national, and local broadcasts for critical issue media coverage.

The fusion of intelligence from the Internet and broadcast media requires not only sophisticated software, hardware and talented analysts, it requires good old fashioned investigative tactics. And when you combine all of these to create the closest version of reality, then you have found "Integrity." Keeping information confidential is a difficult task. Assurance that the information will be there when you need it also equally important. Yet it is the "Integrity" of the information that we are in constant pursuit of.

Data fusion involves the exchange of information from different sources—including law enforcement, public safety, and the private sector—and, with analysis, can result in meaningful and actionable intelligence and information. The fusion process turns this information and intelligence into actionable knowledge. Fusion also allows for relentless reevaluation of existing data in context with new data in order to provide constant updates. The public safety and private sector components are integral in the fusion process because they provide fusion centers with crime-related information, including risk and threat assessments, and subject-matter experts who can aid in threat identification.

The Private Sector is still the biggest challenge. Trusted relationships need to be continually fostered. New mechanisms for public-private coordination are consistently being discussed. At the heart of the matter is this. Five years after 9/11 we have had a close call this past August.

A group of alleged terrorists arrested in London in August planned to blow up airliners over U.S. cities to maximize casualties, rather than over the Atlantic Ocean as many intelligence officials originally thought.

Fusion Center's are not the only answer. It remains a significant piece of a very complex operational security challenge that we will be facing for still years to come.

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