Archive | Government RSS feed for this section

Dysfunctional Search and the FBI, any of it sound familiar?

I think dysfunctional search is a great name. Unfortunately, it appears that the FBI wins the prize, but I am sure there are many organizations that also feel that their search is dysfunctional. An article in techdirt, ‘How The FBI’s Dysfunctional Search Systems Keep Information Out Of FOIA Requesters’ Hands’, did provide a chuckle, simply because it is just too late to take the US government seriously anymore.

To try to make this short, Trentadue versus the FBI, deals with a requested release of videotapes containing footage of the Oklahoma City bombing. Somehow during the first four days of testimony it was revealed that the FBI has ‘convenient’ information silos, instead of a cohesive repository for search. The problem is the person requesting the information must specify the correct records system for a comprehensive search to take place. The FBI typically only searches the main repository. In addition, the requester must specify in their request a ‘cross-reference’ check, which may mention the subject, but is not stored in the main repository. Again, the now beleaguered requester, must also send a request to the field offices involved, because the FBI ‘Records Information Dissemination’ has no cross-links to other than the original field office.

What about internal search at the FBI? The Central Records System (CRS), as it turns out, is not really a central repository and will accept three different methods of search, which will return three different sets of documents. One of the search methods, Automated Case Support (ACS) is used to search the CRS, but that search isn’t unified. To make matters worse the ACS is then split into three components. And, I think I’ll stop there as it just gets worse and worse, really it does. Oh, one more tidbit, the FBI decides what keywords to use.

I would imagine, or sincerely hope most organizations do not have a search environment such as the FBI. But enterprises do have silos of information and many have no integrated way to search across multiple repositories either via a software product that crosses repositories or through federated search. This should be a basic function. According to an AIIM study, only 18% of organizations have cross repository search capabilities. Maybe the FBI should provide training lessons.

Does your organization have cross repository search capabilities or federated search?

Comments are closed

Oh, you mean government has to follow the law? What was I thinking???

Just another story that illustrates how stupid government thinks we are. Or, perhaps another story for us to illustrate how stupid government is. President Obama announced on January 12th new cyber reforms. He is calling on Congress to mandate that companies whose customer data is breached inform affected individuals within 30 days. But why don’t agencies that are hacked have to notify citizens when their data is compromised? Good question it seems.

On a more humorous note, the silence on the government’s responsibility to protect its own data became awkward, as pro-ISIS hackers allegedly leaked personal information on U.S. military members around the same time Obama was speaking.
There currently is no U.S. requirement for notifying breach victims within a certain time period. A hodgepodge of state regulations give companies varying guidance on contacting victims. Less than 30 percent of federal agencies recently surveyed notified affected individuals of high-risk breaches, the Government Accountability Office reported last year.

The Federal Agency Data Breach Notification Act, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., in the last Congress would require, among other things, notifying individual victims within 72 hours after discovering evidence of a personal data breach.

According to Connolly, “he does not feel the administration is applying a double standard by omitting agencies from its legislative agenda.”

Need we say anymore?

Comments are closed

Open Roads, Open Future, Open Source

We do have a client using open source. Quite a large customer and internationally very well known. Although we are platform agnostic the majority of our clients are using some flavor of SharePoint.

I just read an article referring to the government that open source was quite well accepted and becoming more ubiquitous, from web sites to operating systems to blogs. Although initially embraced by the financial and intelligence community primarily due to high performance and not necessarily low cost, the tables are turning where lower cost is driving adoption in government.

According to Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst, about 50% of all operating systems are open source. From a marketing perspective I would be interested in your feedback regarding how you are using open source in your organization, if you are considering it, and what are the reasons?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Comments are closed