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Information sharing

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The term "information sharing" gained popularity as a result of the 9/11 Commission
9/11 Commission
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was set up on November 27, 2002, "to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks", including preparedness for and the immediate response to...

 Hearings and its report
9/11 Commission Report
The 9/11 Commission Report, formally named Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, is the official report of the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks...

 of the United States government's lack of response to information known about the planned terrorist attack on the New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 prior to the event. The resulting commission report led to the enactment of several executive orders by President Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 that mandated agencies implement policies to "share information" across organizational boundaries. In addition, an Information Sharing Environment Program Manager (PM-ISE) was appointed, tasked to implement the provisions of the Intelligence Reform and Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2004. In making recommendation toward the creation of an "Information Sharing Environment" the 9/11 Commission based itself on the findings and recommendations made by the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age.

The term "information sharing" in the information technology lexicon has a long history. Traditional information sharing referred to one-to-one exchanges of data between a sender and receiver. These information exchanges are implemented via dozens of open and proprietary protocols, message and file formats. Electronic data interchange ("EDI
Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic data interchange is the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means. It is used to transfer electronic documents or business data from one computer system to another computer system, i.e...

") is a successful implementation of commercial data exchanges that began in the late 1970s and remains in use today.

Recent initiatives to standardize information sharing protocols include extensible markup language ("XML
Extensible Markup Language is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. It is defined in the XML 1.0 Specification produced by the W3C, and several other related specifications, all gratis open standards....

"), simple object access protocol ("SOAP
SOAP, originally defined as Simple Object Access Protocol, is a protocol specification for exchanging structured information in the implementation of Web Services in computer networks...

"), and web services description language ("WSDL
Web Services Description Language
The Web Services Description Language is an XML-based language that is used for describing the functionality offered by a Web service. A WSDL description of a web service provides a machine-readable description of how the service can be called, what parameters it expects and what data structures...


From the point of view of a computer scientist, the four primary information sharing design patterns are sharing information one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many, and many-to-one. Technologies to meet all four of these design patterns are evolving and include blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

s, wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

s, really simple syndication
-Mathematics:* Root-sum-square, the square root of the sum of the squares of the elements of a data set* Residual sum of squares in statistics-Technology:* RSS , "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary", a family of web feed formats...

, tagging
Tag (metadata)
In online computer systems terminology, a tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information . This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching...

, and chat
Online chat
Online chat may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet, that offers an instantaneous transmission of text-based messages from sender to receiver, hence the delay for visual access to the sent message shall not hamper the flow of communications in any of the directions...


One example of United States government's attempt to implement one of these design patterns (one to one) is the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). Unfortunately, one-to-one exchange models fall short of supporting all of the required design patterns needed to fully implement data exploitation technology.

As technology advances, information sharing platforms will provide controlled vocabularies, data harmonization, data stewardship policies and guidelines, standards for uniform data as they relate to privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively...

, security
Data security
Data security is the means of ensuring that data is kept safe from corruption and that access to it is suitably controlled. Thus data security helps to ensure privacy. It also helps in protecting personal data. Data security is part of the larger practice of Information security.- Disk Encryption...

, and data quality.

External links

The Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment

The Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age