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National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan

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Citation Edit

U.S. Department of Justice, The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP) (Oct. 2003) (full-text).

Overview Edit

NCISP

The Plan is

a formal intelligence sharing initiative, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, that securely links local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies, facilitating the exchange of critical intelligence. The Plan contains model policies and standards and is a blueprint for law enforcement administrators to follow when enhancing or building an intelligence function. It describes a nationwide communications capability that will link all levels of law enforcement personnel, including officers on the street, intelligence analysts, unit commanders, and police executives.[1]

Privacy issues Edit

The Plan indicates that it supports policies that will protect privacy and constitutional rights while not hindering the intelligence process. It establishes 28 C.F.R. Part 23 as the de facto national standard for ensuring that the privacy and constitutional rights of individuals are protected during the collection and exchange of criminal intelligence information by recommending that law enforcement agencies adopt, at a minimum, 28 C.F.R. Part 23 to help ensure that the submission, access, storage, and dissemination of criminal intelligence information conform to the privacy and constitutional rights of individuals, including the groups and organizations to which they may belong.

Yet, as the policing environment has rapidly expanded from daily “calls for service” and crime prevention activities to now include safeguarding critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) from the threats of terrorism, sharing information to aid in the prevention of widespread flu pandemics, or exchanging intelligence to assist with preparations for and the aftereffects of a natural disaster, 28 C.F.R. Part 23 by itself does not address all the nuances inherent to practicing intelligence and information sharing in the homeland security environment. What is needed is a process to examine all the “intelligence-related” functions of an agency that go beyond the tenets of 28 C.F.R. Part 23 in ensuring the protection of individuals’ privacy and constitutional rights.

The NCISP recommends that law enforcement agencies’ chief executive officers "ensure that individuals' privacy and constitutional rights are considered at all times" when performing the intelligence function within an agency. Moreover, the National Strategy for Information Sharing (NSIS) recognizes that the need to protect the rights of Americans is a core facet of national information sharing efforts. These fundamental concerns, coupled with the expansion of intelligence enterprises nationally, both in numbers and in scope, have highlighted the importance of additional guidance in terms of addressing intelligence and information sharing for law enforcement and homeland security professionals. Agencies should consider implementing policies that not only incorporate the tenets of 28 C.F.R. Part 23 for criminal intelligence information but also offer broader guidance that will ensure that privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are protected for all information and intelligence sharing. Once these policies are adopted, agencies must implement them agencywide through appropriate training and practice.

As a part of the implementation effort, agencies are encouraged to conduct a periodic self-assessment of their intelligence enterprise in order to determine that their agency policies and procedures covering privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are being followed, particularly when missions expand or when new partners are added.

Compliance reviews and audits have become a necessary tool for agencies to use in order to identify high-risk operational and management issues, particularly with the recent development of fusion centers. An agency’s privacy policy and associated procedures should be transparent, and agency leadership should be accountable for their privacy protection processes in all areas of the intelligence enterprise. To meet this need, the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative’s (Global) Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC), Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) Intelligence Working Group (GIWG) Privacy Committee has developed the Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Compliance Verification for the Intelligence Enterprise. This compliance verification will assist intelligence enterprises with ensuring their compliance with all applicable privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protection laws, regulations, and policies while sharing intelligence and information needed to safeguard America.

References Edit

  1. Criminal Intelligence Glossary (Nov. 2004).

Source Edit

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