Mutually Reinforcing

The White House issued the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding to provide guidance for the responsible distribution of information to those who need it to keep the country safe, while at the same time protecting data from those wishing to do the nation harm. “While these two priorities—sharing and safeguarding—are often seen as mutually exclusive, in reality they are mutually reinforcing,” stated President Obama in the foreword to the strategy, issued on Dec. 19. He added, “This strategy, therefore, emphasizes how strengthening the protection of classified and sensitive information can help to build confidence and trust so that such information can be shared with authorized users.” The strategy lays out direction on developing and implementing policies, processes, standards, and technologies to promote secure and responsible information sharing. It’s grounded in three principles: information is a national asset; sharing and safeguarding information requires shared risk management; and information informs decision-making. Obama said the strategy makes clear that “the individual privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of United States persons must be—and will be—protected.”