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DNI’s data sharing initiative in Afghanistan

US: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is building a wiki-like network in Afghanistan to help non-military personnel navigate treacherous terrain safely, according to Nextgov.com report. “Now, we’re thinking in terms of Web 2.0 social networking in ways that we have not done before. The US Agency for International Development, the State Department and non-profit organisations operating in Afghanistan can use this network to share data. They rely on an ad hoc system of Google e-mail and Web-based documents to ferry information over the Internet,” said Greg Gardner, deputy chief information officer, DNI.

He was speaking at a lunch in Pentagon City hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, which represents government and industry professionals in the fields of IT, communications, intelligence and homeland security. DNI envisions a system in which individuals from nondefense groups and military members can type in their location, the route they plan to take and their intended destination to retrieve the latest information on surroundings.

The network is in limited use, Gardner said in an interview with Nextgov, but he could not comment on when it would launch officially. Further, he added, “Adding the approach will mean accepting some risk in return for knowledge of much greater value to information sharing.” It would communicate safety information and mission-critical details, such as the last time a public health team visited the town or the amount of money that governments have invested nearby schools.

“Like everything that’s designed at a national level, it’s not going to be executed as cleanly as I’ve described. It’s going to take time,” Gardner said. “We’ve got to convince people that getting off Gmail and Gdocs is the right way to go.” He noted to the audience that DNI decided against a cloud system — a Web-based network hosted by a third-party — because the agency could not obtain certification and accreditation for such a network.

Source: nextgov.com