Federal, state, local, and tribal authorities – as well as private sector critical infrastructure operators – depend on intelligence to keep the nation safe from terrorists, transnational criminal groups, and other threats. But these entities – which span the intelligence community, law enforcement agencies, and private companies – have great difficulty collaborating. Even sharing information poses challenges given that organizations addressing the same threat may treat their data as classified intelligence, investigative law enforcement records, or proprietary intellectual property. To promote public-private collaboration, better mechanisms must be developed to share information and work together across sectors, disciplines, and jurisdictions.
INSA’s Domestic Security Council works to identify, develop, and promote innovative solutions for the homeland intelligence enterprise. INSA established the forum (initially known as the Homeland Security Intelligence Council) in 2008 to promote understanding of the role of intelligence in the homeland enterprise, the successes it has achieved, and evolving challenges that continue to threaten our nation.
The Council provides opportunities for all levels of government, industry and academia to understand and contribute to the evolving homeland intelligence enterprise by:
- Raising awareness of homeland intelligence, how it fits within the larger intelligence and law enforcement picture, and how it can contribute to U.S. national security.
- Promoting communication, understanding and partnership among the various elements of the homeland enterprise—both the intelligence and law enforcement communities; federal, state, local, and tribal governments; the private sector; and the American public.
- Examining issues that appear to require further analysis, definition, or decision, and providing appropriate means and venues to further the dialogue in those areas.
In September 2011, INSA published a white paper, Intelligence to Protect the Homeland, which examined the Enterprise’s progress and leading challenges 10 years after 9/11. The paper offered 16 recommendations that were principally concerned with strengthening coordination, connectedness, and unity of effort across the Enterprise. Five years later, the Council took a new look at the state of the homeland intelligence enterprise in a November 2016 white paper, Protecting the Homeland: Intelligence Integration 15 Years After 9/11. The Council’s second report examined ways to promote further integration of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities and offered recommendations for fostering greater interaction with the private operators of the nation’s critical infrastructure.