DENVER – Prompted by policymakers, intelligence agencies declassified information about the Russian invasion of Ukraine “first for our allies and then for the public, which allowed others to better understand what our intelligence was telling us,” Stacey said. Dixon, US Deputy Director of National Intelligence April 26 at the GEOINT 2022 Symposium here. “The commercial industry allowed for that exchange and has continued to update the public as the war has progressed.”
The current conflict has underscored the need to merge intelligence data sets — such as geospatial intelligence, signals intelligence, human intelligence — earlier in the process, Dixon said, “not just because we need to do it to further our craft, but also because new “The tools and technologies give us the ability to do that. We need to eliminate the vast majority of manual lookups that are now required across systems by actively and automatically resolving entities and events based on everything that is already known.”
Dixon also emphasized the need for government and industry to work on parallel tracks to make data sets interoperable.
For the intelligence community, that means increasing transparency by striking the right balance between protecting sources and methods, and sharing information with partners and the public as agencies did when Russia invaded Ukraine.
“We in the intelligence community stepped out of our comfort zone and used our existing processes to erase shareable information on a scale never seen before,” Dixon said. “Commercial GEOINT literally gave people a chance to see for themselves.”
As the people leading intelligence agencies continue to step out of their comfort zones, the private sector must consider the right balance between “closed, proprietary systems, tools, and technologies and those that can be shared openly in ways that foster interoperability.” Dixon said.
Finding that balance won’t be easy because of the costly investments companies have made, Dixon said.
Still, that work is needed because “there are potentially huge national security benefits to having more open competitive systems and sharing capabilities more broadly,” Dixon said. “We must be able to integrate the data and services it provides into our intelligence cycle. The systems that you develop for us and with us must be able to handle data and information built according to standards that allow this integration”.