U.S. Director Of National Intelligence Sees Increased Role For Cloud Technologies In Spy Agencies

U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper revealed that cloud computing technology will prove central to the IT budgets of U.S. spy agencies over the next five years. In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Clapper remarked that cloud computing has the “potential for achieving savings and promoting integration.” Clapper elaborated that considerations of data security would become paramount as more and more highly classified data moved into the cloud in order to enable enhanced access and greater collaboration amongst intelligence employees. The National Intelligence Director noted that the next five years would witness significant changes in the methodology used for tagging and sharing data across different intelligence agencies. Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act in 2004, which created the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) to promote the exchange of intelligence related to terrorism. Although it is widely believed that the U.S. has enhanced its intelligence infrastructure for sharing classified and sensitive information, Clapper announced that the U.S. would continue to invest heavily in auditing and monitoring technology and develop a “national insider threat policy” in order to avoid incidents such as the 2010 WikiLeaks disclosure of classified information on the order of hundreds of thousands of classified records. Big Data technology, meanwhile, is also leveraged by U.S. intelligence agencies as evinced by Kitenga, whose Hadoop-based ZettaVox analytics platform specializes in actionable business intelligence and enterprise search capability for deriving insights from massive amounts of structured and unstructured data.

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