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National Drug Intelligence Center

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The U.S. National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), established in 1993, is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice and a member of the Intelligence Community. The General Counterdrug Intelligence Plan, implemented in February 2000, designated NDIC as the nation's principal center for strategic domestic counterdrug intelligence.

Creation Edit

On September 5, 1989 President George H.W. Bush with his Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) William Bennett, unveiled his National Drug Control Strategy which outlined the President’s strategy for coordinating the combined efforts of various federal programs to reduce drug use and drug trafficking in the United States. The inaugural strategy was to announce that ONDCP would develop an intelligence center that would unite U.S. drug-related analytical capabilities and to improve intelligence capabilities. In January 1990, ONDCP announced its plans to create a National Drug Intelligence Center to “consolidate and coordinate all relevant drug intelligence information gathered by law enforcement agencies and analyze it to produce a more complete picture of drug trafficking organizations.” What distinguished the intelligence to be developed by NDIC from that of other agencies was the focus on strategic intelligence.

In the FY1993 Department of Defense Appropriation (PL 102-396), Congress provided statutory backing to the President’s vision for NDIC. In that law, the mission of NDIC was “to coordinate and consolidate.” Initially being staffed with intelligence analysts and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and administered by the FBI, NDIC opened its doors officially in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in August 1993. The Center’s early work often involved providing operational support to other law enforcement and intelligence agencies. NDIC also prepared assessments of drug intelligence from all national security and law enforcement agencies, and produced information regarding the structure, membership, finances, communications, and activities of drug trafficking from intelligence provided by a requesting agency specifically for an assigned tasking. In February 1998 NDIC became an independent component of the U.S. Department of Justice and now employs more than 340 federal employees and contract personnel. As a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, NDIC is headed by a Director, who is appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. The current Director of NDIC is Michael Walther.

MissionEdit

"The mission of NDIC is to provide strategic drug-related intelligence, document and media exploitation support, and training assistance to the drug control, public health, law enforcement, and intelligence communities of the United States in order to reduce the adverse effects of drug trafficking, drug abuse, and other drug-related criminal activity."[1]

ProductsEdit

HashKeeperEdit

HashKeeper is a tool of interest to Computer Forensics examiners and is available free-of-charge to law enforcement, military, and other government agencies throughout the world. It is available to the public by sending a Freedom of Information Act request to NDIC.

Real-time Analytical Intelligence Database (RAID)Edit

NDIC created RAID to manage large quantities of data gathered during Document and Media Exploitation (DOMEX) operations. RAID is a relational database used to analyze key pieces of information and to quickly identify links among people, places, businesses, financial accounts, telephone numbers, and other investigative information examined by our analysts. The software runs on any Windows operating system (Windows 2000 or higher), in any mode of operation (stand-alone or LAN). It can be used to analyze any type of information from any kind of investigation or as a case management tool.

NDIC has enhanced RAID to meet the expanding support requirements of the intelligence and law enforcement communities. The improved RAID can be used for both DOMEX and investigative case intelligence support. RAID also facilitates our capability to conduct Cross-Case Analysis. Key upgrade features include increased data storage, scalability (small database to very large, supporting a few users to hundreds), more comprehensive and efficient analytical tools, enhanced multimedia capability, an import/export wizard, dynamic additional data fields (configurable by users), data access security, easier combination/separation of cases, and the ability to apply data mining technologies across data sets.

The RAID application was created at NDIC around 1995 using Microsoft Access and has evolved into a robust tool capable of exporting data into powerful commercially available analytical software. It was developed by analysts for analysts to provide better intelligence and data support in large investigations. The software helps specialists catalog and analyze valuable information gleaned from seized evidence, Reports of Investigation, and other intelligence sources. The RAID application allows the creation and linking of data in a distributed environment. This means, records created by an analyst are instantly available to other analysts and updates are seen in real-time. Data contained in RAID can also be displayed visually using commercially available analytical software such as i2 Analyst’s Notebook and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) such as ArcGIS.

RAID has the ability to import information from other databases and electronic files, and to export data to multiple analytical tools. This greatly assists us in capturing data obtained by our Digital Evidence Laboratory. We have expanded our operational capability to capture media and electronic files and link them to any records in the database. If necessary, we are able to hyperlink the extracted intelligence to a copy of the original scanned document. Information obtained from electronic data storage devices such as hard disk drives and mobile phones are typically reviewed and imported electronically into RAID. That permits all of the available evidence to be analyzed concurrently, providing a comprehensive analytical product.

RAID is a multi-user Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) used by NDIC as well as other intelligence and law enforcement agencies. In fact, more than 4,000 copies of the application have been distributed to agencies both domestically and in some international locations. RAID 3 operates with Microsoft Database Engine (MSDE) and Microsoft’s SQL Server platform. This will ensure that we can provide a copy our database to any agency we support without requiring additional software to operate.

National Drug Threat SurveyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. NDIC website, viewed November 15, 2008

External links Edit


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