On March 10, 2011, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing entitled, Information Sharing in the Era of WikiLeaks: Balancing Security and Collaboration. The Committee invited the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age to submit written testimony.
Our testimony builds upon previous recommendations made by the Markle Task Force. We conclude that the lesson the US government should take away from the WikiLeaks release of sensitive and classified US documents is not that security professionals should reduce or stop sharing critical counter-terrorism information.
A substantial change has occurred throughout government: Information sharing has become more widespread, thus enabling security professionals to better respond to new threats. Instead of reversing this progress, the government must improve the capability to better share information while concurrently developing the policies, processes, and organizational culture that control access and use to that information.
Technology is changing and improving at an incredibly rapid pace. In order to better protect Americans, the government should embrace new technologies instead of fighting them. Only in this manner can the government build an Information Sharing Environment that those who are working to protect us can trust and use, and that the American people can trust to protect their privacy and civil liberties.