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Information Sharing
in Congressional Research Service Reports

The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement  (R41927, February, 2012) (41pp | 490kb | PDF) — “U.S. law enforcement has, particularly since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, increasingly relied on intelligence-led policing, enhanced interagency cooperation, and technological implementation to confront 21st century crime. For instance, enforcement agencies have used formal and informal interagency agreements as well as fusion centers and task forces to assimilate information and coordinate operations. Nonetheless, there have been notable impediments in implementing effective information sharing systems and relying on up-to-date technology. Congress may question how it can leverage its legislative and oversight roles to bolster U.S. law enforcement’s abilities to confront modern-day crime. For instance, Congress may consider whether federal law enforcement has the existing authorities, technology, and resources—both monetary and manpower—to counter 21st century criminals (particularly cybercriminals, e.g., S. 2105). Congress may also examine whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information.”

Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress
(R40901, December 2011) (29pp | 543kb | PDF) — "This report describes the NSI, the rationale for the sharing of terrorism-related SARs, and how the NSI seeks to achieve this objective. It examines the privacy and civil liberties concerns raised by the initiative and identifies other oversight issues for Congress."

The Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise: Operational Overview and Oversight Challenges for Congress
(R40602, March 2010) (61pp | 651kb | PDF) — "This report provides an overview of the [Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise] both at headquarters and within the components. It examines how DHS IE is organized and supports key departmental activities to include homeland security analysis and threat warning; border security; critical infrastructure protection; support to, and the sharing of information with, state, local, tribal, and private sector partners. It also discusses several oversight challenges and options for Congress to consider on these issues."

Homeland Security Intelligence: Perceptions, Statutory Definitions, and Approaches
(RL33616, January 2009) (20pp | 294kb | PDF) — "This report provides a potential conceptual model of how to frame HSINT, including geographic, structural/statutory, and holistic approaches. Given that state, local, tribal, and private sector officials play such an important role in HSINT, the holistic model, one not constrained by geography or levels of government, strikes many as the most compelling. The report argues that there is, in effect, a Homeland Security Intelligence Community (HSIC). Although the HSIC's members are diffused across the nation, they share a common counterterrorism interest ... At the policy and operational levels, the communication and integration of federal HSINT efforts with these state and local fusion centers will likely remain an important priority and future challenge."

Information Sharing for Homeland Security: A Brief Overview
(RL32597, January 2005) (38pp | 169kb | PDF)— "In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, various recommendations and efforts have been made with the intention of improving information sharing among government entities at all levels within the United States, the private sector, and certain foreign governments, with a view to countering terrorists and strengthening homeland security.... This report reviews some of the principal existing homeland security information sharing arrangements, [HSIN, JRIES, RISS] as well as some projected arrangements in this regard, and discusses related policy, evaluations, and proposed legislation."

For Further Information - See the GAO Reports on information sharing

Source: Page created by the DHS/Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the DHS/Privacy Office in cooperation with the DOJ, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Jusitce Assistance.

Last date revised: 08/10/13