The U.S. Department of Defense defines intelligence as “the product resulting from the collection, processing, integration, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of available information concerning foreign nations, hostile or potentially hostile forces or elements, or areas of actual or potential operations.” (Module 1…, 2020). Intelligence essentially comes from information. It is the information that is processed, analyzed, evaluated, and interpreted by the human in the loop (HITL). Information that lacks analysis, and doesn’t provide context and association with people, organizations, and events, is not considered intelligence (Module 1…, 2020).
There are interdepartmental mechanisms in place that are used when intelligence needs to be shared. What may be ordinary information to once agency could be vital intelligence to another. To determine if the information/intelligence should be shared the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the US Intelligence Community (IC) were established. Their purpose is to share information and intelligence. If one agency receives information/intelligence from another they do not automatically have authority to share it further. The ODNI and IC resolve these issues constantly. Two major factors that determine information sharing are need to know and security clearances. Some agencies may have less strict clearance conditions which needs to be taken into account before sharing information. Sharing information/intelligence among agencies increases the probability that analysis will provide intelligence that is actionable (Module 1…, 2020).
It is important for the end user to not get overloaded with information and intelligence. The information/intelligence should be collaborated and analyzed at each step as it moves up the chain. This helps determine how essential the information is and if it can be used as vital intelligence. The information could be unnecessary and not be helpful. If it gets passed up the chain without being looked at further the end user will constantly waste time looking into information that goes nowhere. Better to find the information isn’t essential sooner rather than later (Module 1…, 2020).
Module 1 Information vs. Intelligence. (2020). [Course Resources]. In HMLS 414 Homeland Security and Intelligence. Retrieved from https://learn.umuc.edu/d2l/le/content/449901/viewContent/17731549/View