Topic: HLS6050 DF4 Comments: Are Intelligence Failures Inevitable?

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Topic: HLS6050 DF4 Comments: Are Intelligence Failures Inevitable?


Comment on these two post as if you were me with a 100 words each, DO NOT COMPARE THE POSTS, and put 3 references for each post, and please seperate the references with the post it was made for.

Matthew Good 

In relation to this week’s reading and lecture material, I found an interesting article entitle “N.S.A. Gets More Latitude to Share Intercepted Communications” that was posted by the New York Times on 12 January 2017. This article identifies that the Obama administration, in its final days, had expanded the power of the National Security Agency (NSA) to share their globally intercepted communications with 16 other members of the Intelligence Community (IC) before they are required to apply privacy protections.

This move by the Obama administration was made in an effort to increase the amount of information sharing between the IC and also be used as insurance so that less would be able to slip through the cracks of the NSA. Before this rules was approved, the NSA would sort through all of the information it had collected and identified what it thought would be pertinent to other members of the IC, then disclose that information with them. The rest would be stored elsewhere for no other members of the IC to review. Additionally, the information that the NSA would share would also be edited in the sense that they would either screen out or remove any information that they believed would not be relevant to others members of the IC, most notably the FBI and CIA. With this new rule signed into law by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the 16 other members of the IC will receive 100% of the raw data (unedited) for their own analyzation rather than getting second hand intelligence or not getting intelligence at all.

Personally I support this move, because it will increase the amount of information sharing amongst the IC community which is always an improvement. I never would believe that the NSA would be able to identify every last piece of information the other members of the IC would need without having someone from those agencies included. To me it doesn’t make sense for one agency to review information, and tell the expert agency on that information what is relevant. If they are the experts, let them review and decide for themselves. But there is also a great deal of opposition, especially for those who feel that the FISA Amendments Act has already been too destructive to the privacy of US citizens. Since this ruling essentially builds upon the power of the FISA Act, it does give each member of the IC more power than before. Some feel angry that now 16 more agencies are sorting through their personal information, but in my opinion I really don’t mind. If one agency was already doing it then what’s the difference. I completely understand that civil liberties are critical, but if my emails need to be searched word by word and that could potentially thwart a terror attack, I am all for it.

Works Cited

Savage, C. (2017, January 12). N.S.A. Gets More Latitude to Share Intercepted Communications. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from www.nytimes.com: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/us/politics/nsa-gets-more-latitude-to-share-intercepted-communications

Douglas Mahoney 

This week while learning about intelligence and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), I chose to brief the article called Are Intelligence Failures Inevitable? by William Thomas. Although this is an older article, I thought that this was an interesting idea where Thomas discusses the question if intelligence failures are inevitable, and he states his opinion that they are. Thomas explains that intelligence can “fail at three distinct levels: acquisition (the collection of information); analysis (its evaluation); and acceptance (the readiness of politicians to make use of intelligence in the formulation of their policies)” (Thomas, 1999). Thomas talks about one reason intelligence can fail, and explains it is because of the “human factor” involved in all the stages of intelligence. Thomas writes, “this human factor shows itself at every level of the intelligence process, from gathering of raw data, how this gathering is arranged, through analysis and interpretation and onwards to the final use of intelligence, to the ‘consumer’” (Thomas, 1999).

In the article, Thomas brings up the bombing of Pearl Harbor and explains how this attack could have been an intelligence failure. He admits that there are many factors involved, but believes that the failure in the collection and use of the information is where the US ultimately failed, resulting in an easy attack for the Japanese. Thomas states, “However good the gathering and analysis of intelligence may or may not be, the use of that intelligence by the consumer will determine ultimately the level of risk of intelligence failure” (Thomas, 1999). I tend to agree with Thomas and this statement. All the data gathering in the world, and all the technology does not do any good if the consumer does not use the intelligence properly.


Thomas, W. (1999). Are Intelligence Failures Inevitable? Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1145/are-intelligence-failures-inevitable




Institution of Affiliation


N.S.A Gets More Latitude to Share Intercepted Communication

A New York Times article on 12th January 2017 talked about the Obama administration allegedly expanding the influence of the National Security Agency on how to deal with information intercepted globally CITATION Sav17 l 1033 (Savage, 2017). .

To an extent, I am not in agreement with the sharing of this information since agencies will be handling personal data. In this case, agencies will receive d


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