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National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding, 2012

Published December 1, 2012

The Obama administration released this strategy in December 2012. It emphasizes balancing "between sharing information with those who need it to keep our country safe and safeguarding it from those who would do us harm."

Executive Summary:

Our national security depends on our ability to share the right information, with the right people, at the right time This information sharing mandate requires sustained and responsible collaboration between Federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and foreign partners Over the last few years, we have successfully streamlined policies and processes, overcome cultural barriers, and better integrated information systems to enable information sharing Today's dynamic operating environ - ment, however, challenges us to continue improving information sharing and safeguarding processes and capabilities While innovation has enhanced our ability to share, increased sharing has created the potential for vulnerabilities requiring strengthened safeguarding practices.

The 2012 National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding provides guidance for effective development, integration, and implementation of policies, processes, standards, and technologies to promote secure and responsible information sharing Our responses to these challenges must be strategic and grounded in three core principles. First, in treating Information as a National Asset, we recognize departments and agencies have achieved an unprecedented ability to gather, store, and use information consistent with their missions and applicable legal authorities; correspondingly they have an obligation to make that information available to sup - port national security missions. Second, our approach recognizes Information Sharing and Safeguarding Requires Shared Risk Management. In order to build and sustain the trust required to share with one another, we must work together to identify and collectively reduce risk, rather than avoiding information loss by not sharing at all. Third, the core premise Information Informs Decisionmaking underlies all our actions and reminds us better decisionmaking is the purpose of sharing information in the first place The Strategy focuses on achieving five goals:

1. Drive Collective Action through Collaboration and Accountability. We can best reach our shared vision when working together, using governance models that enable mission achieve - ment, adopting common processes where possible to build trust, simplifying the information sharing agreement development process, and supporting efforts through performance man - agement, training, and incentives

2. Improve Information Discovery and Access through Common Standards. Improving discovery and access involves developing clear policies for making information available to approved individuals Secure discovery and access relies on identity, authentication, and autho - rization controls, data tagging, enterprise-wide data correlation, common information sharing standards, and a rigorous process to certify and validate their use

3. Optimize Mission Effectiveness through Shared Services and Interoperability. Efforts to optimize mission effectiveness include shared services, data and network interoperability, and increased efficiency in acquisition

4. Strengthen Information Safeguarding through Structural Reform, Policy, and Technical Solutions. To foster trust and safeguard our information, policies and coordinating bodies must focus on identifying, preventing, and mitigating insider threats and external intrusions, while departments and agencies work to enhance capabilities for data-level controls, automated monitoring, and cross-classification solutions

5. Protect Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties through Consistency and Compliance. Integral to maintaining the public trust is increasing the consistency by which we apply privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections across the government, building corresponding safe - guards into the development of information sharing operations, and promoting accountability and compliance mechanisms As we execute the Strategy together, we will harness our collective resolve to treat information as a national asset, make it discoverable and retrievable by all authorized users, and arm those charged with preserving the security of our Nation Only as we work together, hold ourselves accountable, and take concerted ownership of advancing our goals, will we achieve the safety and success our country rightfully demands and fully deserve.

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