Please provide a follow up response to the following responses (there are 4 total)
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Discussion Topic 1- The importance of information sharing is not limited to exchanges between national agencies. Considerable importance is also attached to intelligence sharing between local agencies. Two mechanisms for doing so are through use of Fusion Centers and Joint Regional Intelligence Centers. How do these Centers differ?:
While both Fusion Centers and Joint Regional Intelligence Centers serve a somewhat similar role, which is intelligence sharing, they do differ. But to first understand how they differ, when their mission is related, we need to identify exactly what each one is independently responsible for.
The definition or purpose of a Fusion Center, according to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) within the Department of Justice (DOJ), states that “A fusion center is an effective and efficient mechanism to exchange information and intelligence, maximize resources, streamline operations, and improve the ability to fight crime and terrorism by merging data from a variety of sources (OJP, 2017). To paraphrase, a Fusion Center is like a big melting pot where all local, state and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies within the intelligence community throw their gathered intelligence into, for the taking and is accessible to those who that intelligence could be useful to. There are hundreds of organizations all running their own separate investigations at all times and it is impossible for any given agency to be up to date on all of them at once, and who needs what intelligence. So this way, when it is collected, they just put it into the fusion center for the taking by those who it could be of use to.
“The Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC) was established in 2006 as a cooperative effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement and public safety agencies to centralize the intake, analysis, synthesis, and appropriate dissemination of terrorism-related threat intelligence for the greater Los Angeles region (JRIC, 2017).” At this point in time when the JRIC was established it sounds much like a standard Fusion Center as defined by the DOJ. Where the JRIC separated itself was in 2010 when the JRIC formed an merged with the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Intelligence Support System (ISS).
The main difference between a Fusion Center the and JRIC is quite simple when you peel away the layers information. A Fusion Center can cover a broad area and can be used locally and nationally, while a JRIC is tailored to the intelligence within a specific region. The example above is of the JRIC of the Los Angeles area, which is quite large and serves a population of roughly 18.5 million people.
Fusion Centers and Joint Regional Intelligence Centers are the conduits in linking the internal picture of the states with the external view of the nation. With an evolving threat which emanates not only outside our borders but also from within at an alarming rate. This dynamic environment demonstrates the critical function of state and regional fusion centers have in tomorrow’s fight with supporting with bottom-up and top-down receipt of analytical reports, collecting, and sharing of threat-related trends, indicators, and historical information between various federal government agencies and state, local, tribal, and territorial partners.
The Fusion Center provides one of the many pipelines of intelligence into the national network generating the common intelligence picture. Fusion Centers also brings critical context and value to homeland security and law enforcement that no other federal or local organization can replicate. Fusion centers are information-sharing centrifuges that provide access, analysis, and dissemination that no one else can offer. Freedom from federal partners allows fusion centers to provide regional partners with clarity on threats to their state or region, contributing to the national threat picture. Fusion centers are the primary conduit between agencies, leadership, and the rest of the HLS Enterprise, filling a security gap identified by the 9/11 attacks and findings that were brought to light.
The Joint Regional Intelligence Center serves the local community by providing tailored, timely, and relevant intelligence. The Joint Regional Intelligence Center develops and sustains a region-wide network of law enforcement officers, public safety personnel, private sector partners, and designated community groups; creates and disseminates nationally-recognized intelligence products; and offers regular briefings to cleared partners. Using the unique analytical processes that combine the efforts and insight of local law enforcement, fire service, and public health personnel, analysts from a variety of agencies and disciplines provided an expansive view of trends and potentials which could forecast an imminent terrorist attack. The JRIC was also the first to include personnel that was Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from the fire service, public health, EMS, HAZMAT, and EOD as full partners who provide subject matter expertise for the intelligence products delivered to the departments and agencies that required this introspect.
In conclusion, the differences identified that stand out most with the Fusion Centers, and the JRIC are that the JRICs provide the collection at the SLTT and then transforms that into the intelligence cycle to push out and up intelligence to be actioned by the SLTT and intelligence to be fused into the National COP/CIP by the Fusion Centers.
Discussion Topic 2- The recent hacking of Sony Pictures and release of the movie “The Interview” highlighted the problem of cyber espionage and international theft of intellectual property. Although the Obama administration considered trade secret theft a serious matter, its strategy did not assert that economic espionage violates international law. Nor did it contain a blueprint for international legal changes that would directly address economic cyber espionage. What are the impediments to creating such a strategy?:
Not sure if all countries would follow suit if the trade secrets strategy ever comes to light. I think because a lot of cyber hacking involves a lot of inside doing it would be hard to punish other countries.
Trade secrets are proprietary information, knowledge, formulas, methods, designs or processes. What differentiates trade secrets from know how is that trade secrets must present a commercial advantage; are not commercially known or readily ascertainable and, are the subject of efforts to keep such knowledge secret.
Trade secrets enjoy several benefits over patents. Their use is not contingent on examiner approval and there is no requirement to disclose the underlying unique knowledge or process. On the contrary, doing so invalidates the trade secret. Since trade secrets must be maintained confidentially, it is more difficult for competitors to design around trade secrets than to design around patents which are published to the public. Unlike patents, trade secrets can endure indefinitely and be licensed forever. The licensee can be obligated to continue paying royalties for the trade secrets license even if the information (subject to the trade secret license) has entered the public domain.
Concerns about relying on trade secrets to protect proprietary information revolve around independent discovery, applicable law and expense. A trade secret does not protect against independent discovery as does a patent. If competitors arrive at the same discovery as a trade secret covers, they are unrestricted in trying to capitalize on such knowledge.
It is not always evident which bodies of law govern trade secret disputes. If a licensee of trade secrets uses the trade secret beyond what is agreed to in the license, trade secret law may not necessarily apply to the dispute. Instead, contract or tort law may govern the situation. There is also the unresolved question of whether trade secret misappropriation is a property right violation or a tort.
The hacking of Sony Pictures over the movie “The Interview” was met with mixed emotions, primarily since it was about North Korea’s leader’s assassination. The hacking was organized by the group Guardians of Peace, blamed by the Obama administration on North Korea (The Guardian, 2015). Sony stated that the loss it caused the company amounted to $15 million spent on “investigation and remediation costs (The Guardian, 2015). While Sony admits that the attack was not expected to incur long-term damages, it was still the largest hack to hit a corporate industry. The hack was aimed for Sony to cancel the movie. It also compromised over 47,000 personnel records and top management emails (The Guardian, 2015).
The World Trade Organization (WTO) defines Intellectual Property (IP) rights as “rights given to a person over the creation of their minds—giving them exclusive rights over its use for duration of time (WTO, 2017). According to the United State Patent and Trademark Office, Trade Secret is a type of Intellectual Property consisting of information to include formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, process (US PTO, 2017).
The act itself was not seen with massive outrage and global protest, most people just went ahead and watched the hacked release of the movie online for free and laughed about the movie dictator’s demise and comical portrayal—nor did it sparked a changes among partnered nations on how to best tackle the growing issue on cyber espionage and its financial blows to economies worldwide. Accountability is one of the major roadblocks in getting cyber criminals accountability for their actions. A criminal act in one country does not always equate to the same treatment in another country. The US PTO has laws on every copyright and trademark infringement out there concerning Intellectual Property rights. These same laws are almost non-existent or applicable within 3rd-world countries where piracy is but a way of life to make a living. Federal authorities in these countries don’t even impose the laws accordingly or effectively. If partnered nations agree on a shared law or policy concerning cyber espionage, it would greatly influence how we pursue online criminals.