NIEM onboard for maritime use

Law enforcement, DOD to share notes on seafaring scofflaws

Law enforcement agencies and the Defense Department's
maritime organizations might soon be able to share more information
about seafaring scofflaws, thanks to a recent agreement between DOD
and the federal National Information Exchange Model data-sharinginitiative.

DOD has adopted NIEM for reporting on maritime activities,
according to a memo recently signed by NIEM Executive
Director Donna Roy.

She added that many law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction
"over ports, inland waterways, bridges and other connections to
maritime environments." By using a standardized vocabulary to
encode data, local agencies and federal maritime organizations
could easily share information to help battle smuggling, terrorism
and other criminal activities.

Launched in 2005 as a partnership between the Homeland Security
and Justice departments, NIEM is a standardized vocabulary based on
Extensible Markup Language and designed to allow systems to share
data. Managed by the Integrated Justice Information Systems
Institute, NIEM is based on the Global Justice XML Data Model, a highly successfulapproach to sharing law enforcement information among
local, state and federal agencies.

DOD's Executive Agent for Maritime Domain Awareness will
use NIEM as the basis for its own cross-system information-sharing
initiative. The MDA Data Sharing Community of Interest has
incorporated NIEM into its data model, called the Maritime
Information Exchange Model (MIEM), according to the memo.

The Navy created an initial version of MIEM for the
Comprehensive Maritime Awareness Joint Capabilities Technology
Demonstration. The service used many NIEM elements and added some
of its own so it could incorporate data generated by the U.S. Coast
guard and other parties.

"The transition of MIEM will allow the maritime community of
interest to leverage the tools, training and governance provided by
NIEM at a fraction of the cost," Roy wrote in the memo.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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