When President Obama this spring announced that he was combining the White House staff focusing on homeland security and counterterrorism into more established National Security Council he explained that a big part of his rationale was linking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) more closely with the US intelligence and defense communities.
Last week two highly significant announcements signaled tighter integration and linkage between homeland security and the defense and intelligence “establishments” was moving from concept to actuality.
The Departments of Defense (DoD) and Homeland Security (DHS) announcedannounced on September 15 an initiative to grant select state and major urban area fusion center personnel access to classified terrorism-related information residing in DoD’s classified network.
Under this initiative, select fusion center personnel with a federal security clearance will be able to access specific terrorism-related information resident on the DoD Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet)—a secure network used to send classified data. This classified data will be accessed via DHS’ Homeland Security Data Network (HSDN). DHS will be responsible for ensuring that proper security procedures are followed.