NCTC Seeks to Advance Information Sharing Efforts Through New Mobile App

The National Counterterrorism Center today launched a new mobile app for sharing counterterrorism alerts with military and federal law enforcement.

The new app will also soon be available to state, local, tribal, territorial and other partners, according to the center. Officials say it will help bring real-time alerts and other urgent information to law enforcement and first responders who typically only receive in-depth information from the NCTC via a weekly email today.

“This is a huge evolution of our information-sharing efforts,” an NCTC official said. The center would only give the names of the officials during a briefing with the journalists.

“We’re moving from a regularized, weekly news-sharing effort to a daily, near real-time effort with this app,” the manager said.

The app, aCTknowledge, is designed to share reports, analytics, training resources, and alerts with users.

The app is currently only available on Apple iOS devices. Officials said it will be available on Google Play “soon”.

In a new terrorism bulletin released Feb. 7, the Department of Homeland Security said the United States “remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives. and conspiracy theories, and other forms of error”. disinformation and misinformation (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.

The DHS specifically warned of possible copycat attacks modeled after a Jan. 15 hostage-taking at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.

NCTC officials say their new app will help officials share alerts about incidents like the one in Colleyville with law enforcement immediately, rather than have the message routed through an intermediary party, such as one of the fusion run by state or local authorities.

“The way we currently operate is that we send email notifications, to give an example, to fusion centers across the country,” an NCTC official said. “Some fusion centers operate 24/7, but many don’t. So this will put counterterrorism information right in the hands of the user on their phone, instead of waiting for them to come back to the office the next day.

The NCTC was created in 2004 on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. It is responsible for analyzing and integrating intelligence on terrorism and counter-terrorism, except for intelligence relating solely to domestic terrorism.

One of the strengths of the center is that its position “as the only [Intelligence Community] The component having access to all terrorism data collected overseas and domestically enables its staff to provide comprehensive, coordinated and independent analysis from all sources,” wrote Christine Abizaid, director of the NCTC, in response to questions submitted before his confirmation hearing in the Senate. Last year.

But one area she noted for improvement through CI is in anticipating and assessing national security threats.

“For NCTC, this means the Center must continue to invest in innovative technology to generate more comprehensive data-driven insights, increase the speed of information sharing and collaboration, and, where appropriate, automate workflows. work,” Abizaid wrote.

NCTC officials say the app released today is just an initial version, with plans to update the app with subscription preferences, as well as audio and video on the go. to come up.

“We want to make sure these features are usable and sought after by our community,” said one manager.

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