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Enhanced Version of USA Freedom Act Introduced in Senate

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a new version of the USA Freedom Act on Tuesday, a bill intended to protect Americans’ phone records and other personal information. The original bill was passed by the House in May.

As a result of the fallout from former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden’s release of confidential information and revelations regarding NSA policy, President Barack Obama asked Congress in January to curb the massive data collection policies in place by the NSA.

The House bill passed in May, while effective in addressing these concerns, was criticized by many as being too vague and lenient, which led to Leahy’s aggressive changes. One of the main concerns voiced by detractors of the House’s bill was the vague definition of “specific selection term,” which could potentially lead to mass information gathering based on broad characteristics such as geographic location.

 

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IT Initiative Seen Facing Challenges

While progress is being made, the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE) initiative faces a host of challenges as it presses toward the goal of a unified computing infrastructure for the IC by 2018, according to a panel of former federal officials who played key roles in its initial stages.

 

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New Era for Aerial Sensing

After providing huge operational benefits to warfighters and transforming ISR technology in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan, unmanned aerial systems (UASs) equipped for overhead imaging and other sensing are poised to bring major changes to the domestic GEOINT field.

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Open Source Goes Multi-Int

The unrest that swept the Middle East in the Arab Spring of 2011 not only caught the U.S. national security community by surprise, but also brought home in a dramatic way to intelligence analysts that they needed to expand their traditional sources of information by incorporating social media and other open source material into the overall intelligence picture.

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On the Ground with GIS

The experiences of more than a decade of ground operations have shaped and changed the geographic information system software used most often by the Department of Defense, as well as the ways in which military forces use GIS for intelligence and command and control.

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Plugging into Intel

Standards developed within the framework of the Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E) are facilitating interoperability and information sharing among key defense intelligence activities such as the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), according to participants at a recent government/industry demonstration.

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Eyes on Disasters

Satellites and other GEOINT assets are playing a much more active role in monitoring and managing disasters, both those caused by human conflicts and those caused by nature, and analysts predict these capabilities will grow stronger in coming years.

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Innovation will Drive Growth for Defense Geospatial Market

As the geospatial intelligence domain continues to grow in capability and prominence, strategic technological innovation will be the main market driver for the Department of Defense, according to a recent market analysis released by Frost & Sullivan. Authored by Senior Industry Analyst John Hernandez and Research Director Wayne Plucker, the research into the U.S. defense geospatial market finds that strong demand for deeper situational awareness and information integration will boost DoD spending on geospatial products, services and research in the coming years, reaching an estimated $2.43 billion in 2018.

Of that projected spending, the largest piece, approximately $900 million, is predicted to be allotted to engineering and integration initiatives, such as the possibility of multi-fused geospatial products that could enhance the common operating picture for military and civilian units and could also provide a foundation for modeling and simulation training programs. DoD will also aim to expand its abilities to collect and process terrain data, and develop mission applications that integrate data from various sources.

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