Title: Corporate Server Improving the Life of the Deployed SIGINTer
Release Date: 2018-03-01
Document Date: 2005-09-28
Description: A new virtual shared workspace allows NSA agents deployed through Central Command to view their counterparts’ work and share their own, avoiding the issues of multiple agents potentially looking at the same targets, redundant questions being directed to subject matter experts, or a lack of continuity between agents who are deployed for short periods of time.
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(C) Corporate Server Improving the Life of the Deployed SIGINTer
FROM: Eric Fuller
Cryptologic Services Group USCENTCOM
Run Date: 09/28/2005
(C) Virtual shared workspace allows analysts around the world to collaborate.
(U) The challenges of functioning as an extended enterprise
(C) As NSA continues to decentralize SIGINT analysis and distribute capabilities throughout the
enterprise, duplication of efforts and knowledge sharing become more and more of an issue. To
help alleviate these problems, SIGINT analysts deployed to the USCENTCOM AOR* have
experimented with the SIGDEV Extended SIGINT Enterprise Corporate Server (ESECS).
What they've found is a virtual workspace more powerful than anything they ever expected.
(U) ESECS improving the way we collaborate
(C) This new tool allows SIGINT analysts worldwide to post their work to a virtual share-space
accessible to anyone on NSAnet working the same problem set. Once the work is posted, it is
easily searchable. It not only searches the title of documents, but searches within all files stored
on the server producing results in a matter of seconds. ESECS provides a space for "white
board" style discussions and will even notify analysts when a new file is added to a folder they
deem of interest.
(C) One of the most popular features is the way analysts populate the share-space. There is no
clunky upload from a web interface restricting the analyst to specific fields. All it takes is an email to the folder address the analyst wishes to populate. Any attachment included, regardless
of file type or format will be added, "as is", and is instantly searchable. This includes all
Microsoft Office application files, text files, Renoir files, Analyst Notebook, Adobe PDFs, etc....
(U) Continuity accomplished through the ESECS
(C) Use of the SIGDEV Extended SIGINT Enterprise Corporate Server is helping NCR* CENTCOM
maintain virtual continuity with the hundreds of deployed NSA personnel who cycle through the
region every 90-180 days. The share space allows new deployers to see what the analysts
before them have done and allows analysts to see the work going on at the location they're
about to deploy to.
(C) NSA deployers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Djibouti, Qatar, Pakistan and throughout the
USCENTCOM AOR have been developing targets, vetting numbers and doing analysis on
thousands of SIGINT leads. Until now, much of this work has not been documented in a way an
analyst can understand or access. As a result, many leads have been reworked over and over,
reaching the same conclusions. Now, with the ESECS, the leads are worked once and the results
stored for everyone's use. A simple query in the ESECS on a target name, location or phone
number instantly identifies the work already done on the selector and makes it available for use
and download to the analyst.
(U) Virtual Subject Matter Experts (SME)
(C) Most deployers are not target experts for the area they are deploying to and are therefore in
regular contact with SMEs in NSA target offices. This reliance on such a small pool of valuable
resources puts extra strain on an already overworked group. Long hours, few days off and
addressing the same questions time and time again puts undo stress on our SMEs. Use of the
ESECS can greatly reduce this burden. E-mail exchanges with deployed teams, daily analysis,
gist transcripts and reports can easily be shared with others via the ESECS and always available
(C) Past knowledge-sharing tools have been very restrictive and typically only used by the office
that sponsored it. This approach to knowledge sharing only benefited the one office and it
fostered a knowledge vacuum. The free-flow, searchable make-up of the ESECS allows for the
freedom and ease of use necessary to collaborate and accomplish the mission as an extended
enterprise less worried about the "owner" of the information and more focused on making as
much information available about a specific target as possible.
(U) Expanding the use of the ESECS
(C) The SIGDEV Extended SIGINT Enterprise Corporate Server will only get better as more units
and NSA target offices use it. As ESECS use expands, fewer uninformed RFIs are sent to NSA
subject matter experts and more accurate information is available for deployed SIGINTers. The
result is an increase in accurate SIGINT-driven targets and much less duplication of effort. This
ability to easily query a target selector, share any form of knowledge and instantly see who else
is working the same leads brings collaboration as an extended enterprise to a whole new level.
(U//FOUO) NSA employees can apply for an account at the ESECS webpage .
* (U) Notes:
USCENTCOM = U.S. Central Command
AOR = Area of Responsibility
NCR = NSA/CSS Representative
"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)."
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DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108