Jun 1, 2009

The Consumer's Guide to Intel Networks

Here's a copy of a handbook[114-page pdf] that is distributed to intelligence professionals, which, among other things, highlights some top-secret networks that until now have been, well, top secret.

Steven Aftergood, an analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, who directs the organization's Project on Government Secrecy, said about half the classified networks revealed in the 2009 "National Intelligence: A Consumer's Guide" handbook (really, that's the name) are new to him.

Those include:

-- HUMINT (Human Intelligence) Operational Communications Network (HOCNet), which provides information technology, communications and desktop services for Defense Department HUMINT needs.

-- Capitol Network (CapNet), formerly known as Intelink-P, provides congressional intelligence consumers with connectivity to Intelink-Top Secret and CIA Source. Intelink is the intelligence community's classified intranet.

-- Contractor Wide Area Network (CWAN) is NRO's Top Secret computer network for contractors.

-- The National Geospatial Intellligence Agency's Top Secret-Sensitive Compartmented Information Network.

-- The National Reconnaissance Office Management Information System (NMIS) is NRO's Top Secret network. NMIS is also referred to as GWAN (Government Wide Area Network).

-- Stone Ghost, the top-secret network run by the Defense Intelligence Agency to share information with Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. This capability also may be referred to as a "Q-Lat" or "Quad link."

Stone Ghost does not carry Intelink-Top Secret. It surfaced briefly and obliquely in a comment on an article written about a push by the National Security Agency to open up the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network to Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The Consumers Guide also disclosed the existence of two classified phone/fax networks that Aftergood said were new to him:

-- The National Operations and Intelligence Watch Officer Network (NOIWON) is a dedicated secure telephone system with a conferencing capability for the rapid exchange and sharing of high interest and time-sensitive information between Washington-area operations centers.

-- WashFax, a secure fax system intended for use within the Washington Beltway.

The Consumers Guide also hails Lt. Col. George Custer - famed for his last stand -- as a pioneer in the kind of geo-intelligence practiced by NGA. The handbook said Custer used a balloon to spy on confederate soldiers during the battle of Richmond in 1862, locating enemy encampments from high up, and, "as a result, he became one of the world's first geo-spatial intelligence analysts."

Too bad he did not have a balloon at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, where he and his men were soundly defeated.

Aftergood said Custer, at long last, "is entitled to some credit for a constructive contribution. Good for him."

-Jacked & Hacked NextGov

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