The enhanced long-term intelligence and information sharing
The threat oftransnational organized crime has worsened and grown in complexity in the past15 years. Illicit transnational criminal networks have taken advantage of thelatest technological developments and their new state-power capabilities tohave a global reach of terrorism. Criminal networks present growing nationalsecurity threats to the United states and undermine the security of theinternational community.It is in the vitalinterest of the U.S.
government to shape new norms and culture in theintelligence community to assess risks, predict behavioral patterns oftransnational organizations, and realize opportunities to prevent theproliferation of transnational organized crime. This will require enhancedlong-term intelligence and information sharing through heightened cooperationamong law enforcement authorities at Federal, State, local, tribal andterritorial levels.II. Background Information Transnational organizations form a link between illicitdrug trafficking – including routes, profits, and corruptive influences – andterrorism that are both home-grown and imported Islamic terrorism. In this newinformation age, transnational organizations have demonstrated an ability toadapt, diversity, and converge. Transnational networks have taken advantages oftechnological advancements – such as communications system – to have a globalreach of terrorism. Criminal networks have three primary enablers: first, theyreap huge profits from transnational criminal organizations, such as illegalnarcotics trade; second, they have the ability to recruit talent and reorganizethemselves which were historically limited to corporations and militaries; andlastly, they enjoy elements of state power such as diplomatic, informational,military, and economic leverage.
Today, the two most dangerous threats posed by thesenetworks are corruption and cyber security. Corruption enables transnationalcriminals to assimilate into societies and prevent rule of law from ensuringsafety of citizens, statehood, and global governance. Further, cyber threatshave tremendous capability to shut down state infrastructure. The U.S.government faces unprecedented indirect and direct threats that undermine statesovereignty and national security. A clear and present danger posed by proliferation,diversification, and globalization of illicit networks require morecomprehensive and global intelligence approach. The convergence of networkscreates a crime-terror-insurgency nexus; terrorists and insurgent networks seekto collaborate with criminal networks to finance their activities, whiletransnational criminal networks have adopted techniques of terrorist violenceas a strategic communications plan.
The intelligencecommunity has a unique advantage to collect, analyze, and informdecision-makers of the best policy options to enhance long-term intelligenceand information sharing to combat transnational organized crime in the informationage. III. Policy Options: 1. The first policy option to increase collaboration with the privatesector through appropriate oversight. Sharing information and working closelywith the private sector may allow greater opportunities for the intelligencecommunity to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and assets bothdomestically and internationally. The advantages of this policy recommendation: The private sectorhas the technical expertise to better equip staff members of the intelligencecommunity of the complex and interwoven activities of transnational criminalorganizations. They also have unique access to sensitive information of theircustomers and their networks to predict behavioral patterns of individuals intransnational organizations to the intelligence community.
Partnering withprivate companies, such as telecommunications and online social mediacompanies, may allow for greater innovation in creating a stronger, resilientcyber infrastructure against future attacks. The disadvantages and risks of this policy recommendation: Sharingof information and collaborating with the private sector risks the possibilityof another Snowden incident. Greater information-sharing and access tosensitive information, by both the international community and the privatesector, can result in exposure of sensitive information and increasecounterintelligence risks. Further, collaborating with the private sector mayundermine civil liberties and jeopardize national security and informationprivacy at the expense of one over the other. Implementing this policy poses a great challenge to theinternational community because of the difficulty of oversight and managingappropriate information-sharing practices and norms between the internationalcommunity and the private sector. No intelligence authority can manage andoversee the limitations of appropriate cooperation between the government andthe private sector. 2.
The second policy option is to heighten collaboration among lawenforcement authorities at Federal, State, local, tribal and territorial levelsto coordinate the collection and analysis of intelligence regarding varioustransnational organized crime threats. Greater cooperation, with properoversight, may streamline information and produce in-depth analysis to gainbetter understanding of the threats, risks, and opportunities to make informeddecisions for the policy-makers.The advantages of thispolicy recommendation: Greater intra-agency collaboration can utilize theknowledge specialization of each agency that has limited resources. Forexample, signals intelligence (SIGNIT), human intelligence (HUMINT), and opensources intelligence (OSINT), can provide different avenues of information todevelop more comprehensive strategies and analysis. Despite differing missionsof each agency, this new approach can increase analytic integration and developgreater synergies between intelligence analysts, collectors, andcounterintelligence personnel. The disadvantages of this policy recommendation:Information-sharing among law enforcement authorities can be stumbled bybureaucratic hurdles, due in part to the unwillingness of the agencies tocooperate and the lack of such intelligence-sharing tradition. Further, thenarrow missions and interests of the agencies may jeopardize the overallmission to identify and prevent the proliferation of transnational organizedcrime. Moreover, such collaboration may risk redundant and ineffectiveanalytical effort by multiple agencies.
Implementing this policy option will require establishinga mechanism to assimilate information from various agencies to produce aconsensus understanding. Another challenge is establishing information-sharingpractices and understanding limitations of such collaboration effort in order toavoid counterintelligence risks. This may require allocating greater oversightresponsibility to leaders of each law enforcement agency and devoting moreresources and time to collaborate. VI. Recommendation:This policy paperrecommends heightened cooperation among law enforcement authorities at Federal,State, local, tribal and territorial levels to enhance long-term intelligenceand information sharing against transnational organized criminal threats.
Thispolicy option allows the IC to develop long-term intelligence challenge of the21st century – the interlinkbetween transnational crime and terrorism. This policy option takes advantageof the agencies’ knowledge specialization to establish norms and culture in theintelligence community to better assess risks, predict behavioral patterns oftransnational organizations, and realize opportunities to prevent theproliferation of transnational organized crime.