Transformation has less to do with changing procedures than with changing people. A key pillar is a suite of new information-sharing and collaborative technologies that look and feel a lot like Google, Wikipedia, and My Space, the networking and search tools that younger analysts grew up using at home and in their dorm rooms. These newcomers have been baffled to find that these 21st-century staples aren’t widely used within the intelligence community.
The first of the new intelligence tools came online recently. Analysts can now log on to Intellipedia, a collaborative knowledge base that they can use to swap leads and examine one another’s work. (Officials say that Intellipedia helped one group of analysts create a helpful report on Iraqi insurgents’ use of chlorine gas to increase the lethality of improvised explosive devices.) Later this year, Wertheimer’s team will launch A-Space (“A” for analyst), modeled after MySpace and the popular website Facebook. Officials hope the new site will help analysts create social networks outside established channels.