The guiding principles for implementing and operating the Intelligence Community (IC) Information Technology Enterprise (ITE) were set forth in a 2013 memorandum from the Director of National Intelligence that was recently released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The purpose of IC ITE (pronounced “eye sight”) is to establish a common information architecture for the entire U.S. intelligence community, thereby fostering integration and making information sharing among agencies the default option.
“Information acquired, collected, or produced by IC elements shall be available for access for all IC missions and functions, subject to applicable legal and policy requirements,” the 2013 DNI memo said.
Once available through IC ITE, however, access is still to be limited by need-to-know. “Determinations about access to and use of such information within IC ITE shall continue to be based upon content and mission need.”
Nevertheless, agencies are expected and required to make “their” information available to the larger IC. “Unless a discovery exemption has been obtained, originating IC elements shall authorize and provide for automated discovery and retrieval of intelligence and intelligence-related information in IC ITE.”
“IC ITE moves the IC from an agency-centric IT architecture to a common platform where the Community easily and securely shares technology, information, and resources,” according to an ODNI fact sheet. “These new capabilities, with seamless and secure access to Community-wide information, will positively and deeply change how users communicate, collaborate, and perform their mission.”
IC ITE technically “went live” in 2013, but it is still at an early stage of development.
“The classified annex of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 required the CIA, DIA, NRO, NGA, and NSA to provide specific plans for adoption of IC ITE-compliant capabilities,” the Senate Intelligence Committee noted in a report earlier this year.