Threat center app to boost data sharing

Intelligence agencies are taking numerous steps to share homeland security information better, officials told a congressional hearing last week.

The interagency Terrorist Threat Integration Center plans next month to activate a federated search system called Sanctum that will run an analyst's query against five information systems. TTIC planners expect to expand Sanctum in the future to reduce the difficulty of querying multiple systems, said Russell E. Travers, the center's deputy director for information sharing and knowledge development.

The center is trying to break down cultural barriers to information sharing, Travers said in testimony before the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census.

TTIC officials held a classified conference in late March that drew more than 260 participants from 40 federal intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security organizations.

'We still have a long way to go to bridge the cultural gaps among communities of counterterrorism professionals, but this conference was a good first step,' Travers said. 'It dispelled many misunderstandings, raised the general level of knowledge and mutual understanding, and pointed out the areas where we still have work to do.'

TTIC itself is growing. The CIA has promised to detail 60 more officers to the inter-agency center as soon as possible, Travers said.

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