Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Information Technology and Intelligence Reform

Information Technology and Intelligence Reform

Reforming the U.S. intelligence community has become a priority in the post-cold war era. In light of events such as the Aldrich Ames espionage case and charges of mismanagement at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), a half dozen government and private organizations have conducted studies on intelligence reform during the past year.l But beyond these immediate issues, there is general concern over whether the intelligence community can meet the challenges of the post-cold war world. Many issues of intelligence reform primarily concern technology-in particular, information technology. The intelligence community has become more dependent on technical systems for collecting, processing, and disseminating its intelligence. At the same time, rapid improvements in technology are changing both the nature of information systems and how people use them. It follows that any intelligence reform must include plans for the effective development, management, and organization of technology.

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