DNI Negroponte on Intelligence Information Sharing

03.13.06 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

In an effort to improve the sharing of intelligence information, the Director of National Intelligence last year authorized the use of a new marking for intelligence documents: RELIDO, or Releasable by Information Disclosure Official.

RELIDO is intended “to facilitate information sharing through streamlined, rapid release decisions by authorized disclosure officials,” DNI John D. Negroponte wrote in a June 2005 memo.

Essentially, the RELIDO marking permits authorized officials to release documents (on a need-to-know basis, of course) without consulting the originators of the documents.

This is a step forward since originator controls on the dissemination of intelligence are one of the major bottlenecks that impede intelligence information sharing.

A copy of the DNI memo, marked For Official Use Only (not RELIDO), was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “Intelligence Community Implementation of Releasable by Information Disclosure Official (RELIDO) Dissemination Marking,” DCID 8 Series Policy Memoranda 1, June 9, 2005.

No one should mistake the recent focus on intelligence information sharing for greater openness or public disclosure. To the contrary, “information sharing” has been accompanied by increased secrecy in intelligence.

In 2004, for example, the Central Intelligence Agency decided that it would no longer release unclassified intelligence directives under the Freedom of Information Act. Though such directives had previously been released, the CIA now claimed that they were exempt from FOIA as internal agency records (exemption 2) and as intelligence sources and methods information (exemption 3).

Consequently, Americans who are interested in such things are obliged to seek out alternate sources of information.

Among the directives that CIA refused to release under the FOIA is Director of Central Intelligence Directive 8/1, the last Directive issued by former DCI George Tenet, on the subject of intelligence information sharing.

That DCI directive was hailed enthusiastically but perhaps prematurely by some officials.

It “changed the sharing paradigm from ‘need to know’ as determined by the information collector to ‘share at the first point of usability’ as determined by intelligence users across our community,” wrote Maj. Gen. John F. Kimmons, commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, in INSCOM Journal last year.

A copy of the directive, marked For Official Use Only, was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “Intelligence Community Policy on Intelligence Information Sharing,” DCID 8/1, June 4, 2004.