This issuance updates the Functional Standard for ISE-SARs and is one of a series of Common Terrorism Information Sharing Standards (CTISS) issued by the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE). While limited to describing the ISE-SAR process and associated information exchanges, information from this process may support other ISE processes, to include alerts, warnings, and notifications; situational awareness reporting; and terrorist watchlisting.
Information Sharing Environment Strategic Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding
In December 2012 the President signed the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding (Strategy) which is anchored on the 2010 National Security Strategy and builds upon the 2007 National Strategy for Information Sharing. The Strategy provides guidance for more effective integration and implementation of policies, processes, standards, and technologies to promote secure and responsible national security information sharing. This document provides a higher-level overview of a longer, more detailed implementation plan for the Strategy, and is intended to assist in briefing senior policy makers on plans, progress, and performance related to achieving the vision of the NSISS.
Over the past year, the NSI PMO has continued its implementation efforts and outreach to NSI stakeholders to help ensure that law enforcement and homeland security partners are afforded another tool to help identify and prevent terrorism and other related criminal activity. The ongoing collaboration among DOJ, DHS, the FBI, SLTT partners, and the National Network of Fusion Centers has strengthened, allowing the NSI to expand its nationwide information sharing capability. As of March 2013, 73 fusion centers have met the requirements outlined by the NSI PMO to be fully NSI-Operational—an increase of 5 centers from the same time last year—and all 78 fusion centers now maintain the capability to contribute and share suspicious activity reports through the Shared Space or eGuardian. This expansion of the NSI has allowed the Federated Search Tool to be accessed by more trained users—increasing the number of searches to more than 76,400—and more than 25,900 Information Sharing Environment (ISE)-SARs had been submitted and shared by the end of March 2013. Further, with the support of the National Network of Fusion Centers, 46 states and the District of Columbia are participating in statewide implementation of the NSI; implementation efforts are currently under way in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to ensure a strengthened nationwide capacity for sharing ISE-SAR information.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), in coordination with federal and SLTT partners, began conducting an annual assessment of fusion centers to evaluate their progress in achieving the COCs and ECs and to collect additional data to better understand the characteristics of individual fusion centers and the National Network as a whole. DHS/I&A initiated the 2012 Fusion Center Assessment (2012 Assessment) in August 2012 as the second iteration of the annual assessment process and the first assessment to provide data on year-over-year progress in implementing the COCs and ECs. The 2012 Assessment was also the first assessment to collect National Network performance data based on an initial set of five performance measures adopted in 2011. This 2012 National Network of Fusion Centers Final Report (2012 Final Report) summarizes and characterizes the overall capabilities and performance of the National Network based on the results of the 2012 Assessment. This report does not include fusion center-specific capability or performance data. Instead, it uses aggregated data from the 2012 Assessment to describe the capability and performance achievements of the National Network.
The ISE is a partnership for responsible sharing of terrorism-related information between the law enforcement, public safety, defense, intelligence, homeland security, and diplomatic communities. It extends to all levels of government – federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial; and incorporates private sector partners and international allies.
What is a SAR?
•“Official documentation of observed behavior that may be indicative of intelligence gathering or preoperational planning related to terrorism, criminal, or other illicit intention”
• SAR process focuses on what law enforcement agencies have been doing for years—gathering information regarding behaviorsand incidentsassociated with crimeand establishing a process whereby information can be shared to detect and prevent criminal activity, including that associated with domestic and international terrorism
• Examples: Surveillance, photography of facilities, testing of security