RealTime IT News

With Trilogy in Place, FBI Reshapes

With its costly, oft-criticized Trilogy network now functioning, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said Thursday his agency has put in place for the first time a formal structure to prioritize intelligence exploitation and to establish strategic plans for intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination.

The $458 million Trilogy network replaces the FBI's dated local area and wide area networks and will allow FBI personnel to transmit data at much greater speeds. The network will also enable new applications, such as the Virtual Case File, scheduled to come on-line later this year, and "lays the foundation" for better information sharing with partner agencies.

Mueller said the overall direction of the Trilogy program is to provide all FBI offices with improved network communications, a common and current set of office automation tools, and "easy-to-use, re-engineered, Web-based applications."

To support that effort, the FBI is elevating the "analytical process above the individual case or investigation to an overall effort to analyze intelligence."

New executive-level officers will be accountable for ensuring that the FBI has optimum intelligence strategies, structure, and policies in place to address evolving threats.

"FBI investigations often yield bits of information that, when viewed in the aggregate, show suspicious trends that could reveal terrorist threats," Mueller said. "The new intelligence infrastructure will help the FBI exploit that information for its predictive value. The steps I have announced will ensure that this sort of information is systematically collected and examined for its big-picture implications."

As part of the next phase, Mueller has created a new position, the executive assistant director for intelligence, with direct authority for the FBI's national intelligence program. Maureen A. Baginski, currently the Signals Intelligence Director at the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, has been selected to fill the position.

Mueller also announced creation of the Office of Intelligence, which will be responsible for implementing FBI intelligence strategies, and for making sure that intelligence is properly collected, managed, and shared within the FBI, with state and local law enforcement through the 66 Joint Terrorism Task Forces.

The Office of Intelligence will also supervise analyst recruitment, training, and career development, and will provide centralized oversight of the Bureaus human source program. Steven C. McCraw, a 20-year FBI veteran, will be the assistant director in charge of the office.