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December 9, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 11, 2000
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PDF icon CIA-RDP81-00261R000300130003-6.pdf279.6 KB
Approved For Release 2002/0,5/02 : CIA-RDP81-00261 R000300130003-6 SECET ASPIN I. BACKGROUND Because of the rather sudden onslaught of ADP technology, a considerable number of agency components became involved in computer applications gyp simultaneously and individually. As a result there was a tendency for the several offices to " their own way" in developing ADP applications for their respec- tive intelligence problems. Worse than this, was the robab' ity that we had allowed our sparse technical talent to be dis- sipated P 11- by permitting the offices to develo ently without: adequate centralized review of ttheiraactiviitiesd and an equitable distribution of resources. Interestingly, the "problem" was sensed by nents and echelons of the agency almost simultaneously, and steps were taken to define the problem more precisely y' and to cope with it. The formation of the Information Processingr Board was a concrete and constructive step in this regard. T constitution of a technical group subordinated to the Board toe handle certain technical questions was further recognition that required more detailed information before arrivingt at decisions. The creation of ASPIN to conduct a detailed study of the needs of production components that could be satisfied by ADP was basic to the complete understanding of either ADP y in the agency. Considering the present responsibilities and time-con- suming commitments of "management" within the agency on substan- tive matters, ,and the complex, technical nature of computer technology, it was not reasonable to expect management to mort- gage the time required to develop the requisite expertise to make valid judgements or assume more direct control of our Automatic Data Processing activities. Management can, however and indeed should insist on, the best possible advice from sub- ordinate elements -- based on thorough staff work -- before passing judgement on major ADP acquisitions or programs. The IPS, the Technical Facilities Group, and ASPIN were all created to serve this function. d Excluded Crum r,'~c,a,.?. darr7~r ,l; 1,?U de~lc3;irlt?ttiJ1 ~ roved For Release 2002/05/02: CIA-RDP>fi=?~0t 1 R000300130003-6 Approved For Release 2002L102 CIA-RDP81-00261 R000300130003-6 The basic objective of ASPIN was to develop a broad con- ceptual design, or plan, for automatic data processing (ADP) support to intelligence production. The design should indicate: The types of ADP applications which may be under- taken profitably. The relationships among these applications which should be preserved in their design, modification and implementation. Specifications for the general system(s) which might bring together the several processing activities. Procedures for approval and development of com- ponent elements of the system. Organization arrangements for the development and operation of the system. The method of approach to the problem initially was to identify the organizations within the Agency engaged in intelligence production. This was followed by a systematic analysis of the intelligence product and the process and data involved in its production. Particular attention was given to analysis of the role of existing ADP applications and their utility to intelligence production as well as the liabilities incurred in operating these applications. ASPIN Staff Officers were each assigned a production office to study in addition to contributing to general obser- vations, studies and recommendations. These officers, in concert with the personnel of the offices to which they were assigned, had to identify and describe the information flow to the various discrete analytical-production personnel groups, the general use and disposition of this information, the type and frequency of data manipulation performed, and the inter- mediate and final analytical products created by each group. They were ex'Dected to describe, analyze and evaluate all existing automatic data processing assistance to the offices to which assigned, identifying the extent of present inter- face among ADP applications in these and other offices and between ADP applications and manual information processing activities which support production personnel in their basic assignment. Approved For Release 200WRA-RDP81-00261 R000300130003-6 Approved For Release 2002/ . it-RDP81-00261 R000300130003-6 IV. IMPACT ON THE SUPPORT DIRECTORATE Part VI of the ASPIN Report should be read in its entirety by senior Support Directorate officials as its impact could be far-reaching if adopted by management. This section contains implications for virtually all offices within the Directorate. The report on Organizational and Management Aspects of ADP in the Agency should also be reviewed. ASPIN has recommended strongly that the research conducted by ORD/An in the field of Automatic Data Processing be brought under the cognizance of OCS; that all outstanding contracts being sponsored or monitored by ORD/An be reviewed by the IPB; that the hardware resources of ORD/An be transferred to other ADP components or be declared surplus; that ADP development projects be given the same scrutiny and review that has been established for major equipment and software acquisitions. This recommendation will have some impact on the Office of Logistics if adopted. The ASPIN Report recommends that Applications Programmers be assigned to tours of duty with customer components -- much in the same way that Security Officers, Logistics Officers and Communicators are assigned to customer elements. If accepted, this recommendation could prove a considerable boon to DD/S offices as these programmers would serve in the offices con- cerned and would report to the office heads rather than to OCS. Under this scheme the Applications Programmers would tend to become thoroughly familiar with the problems of the offices to which assigned and be able to present solutions to problems more cogently and comprehensively by virtue of being "involved" to a greater degree. Being responsive to the "customer" will, we feel, make the programming effort more viable over the long haul in addition to effecting better day-to-day solutions to intelli- gence problems. Implicit in the ASPIN Report (at least to this writer) is the need to create another study group to review the entire information :handling process within the agency, i.e., the receipt, control and distribution of all documentary material regardless of the means by which it is received. At this late date there does not appear to be any appreciable standardization in the field of information handling; each directorate and each office within the directorates has developed its own propritery means of receiving,, sorting, and distributing information. The DD/P has itSRID, DD/STT tasks FMSAC for some basic distribution of electrical materials, DD/I relies on CRS, OC has its RMB, OS has its own telecommunications network, OSA has a comprehensive telecommunications capability, etc. It would seem salutary to conduct a review of the total communications-dissemination-ADP Approved For Release 2002/05/02.; .CIA-RDP81-00261 R000300130003-6 Approved For Release 2002/08ONG R000300130003-6 structure extant to provide management with a comprehensive picture of the system, possible approaches to its improvement and the elimination of duplication where indicated. A great amount of material received by the Agency in "machine language" is reproduced as a document and subsequently reprocessed into "machine language" for storage, retrieval and manipulation in computer based files. It would appear that the time is upon us to study the somewhat amorphous relationships that exist between our electrical communications services, the several dissemination services and the automatic data processing activities of the agency. Such a study is particularly apt at this time in view of the work being done by CRS in the realm of automated dissemination and the joint efforts of OC, the Cable Secretariat and the Intelligence Watch with regard to the ACT Program. By virtue of having sensitive operational files, adminis- trative files, payroll records, name check files, TKH data, etc., resident in a computer based system which is connected to remote points via communications lines, a serious set of security considerations are raised. The resolution of the problems en- gendered by this situation becomes complex and involves a number of technical disciplines ranging from physical security pre- cautions, through and including issuance of clearances, EMSEC, and the design of algoritams to prevent release of information to unauthorized persons. Security officers must become broadly aware of and personally involved in the data processing milieu. This is being done at present by training, by assignment of security personnel to the Office of Computer Services and by review of computer security problems within the community. Security and privacy in computer operations is an esoteric field and it would appear that the Office of Security will have to identify and. develop personnel resources to cope with this con- tinuing problem. I foresee the assignment of both OS personnel to OCS and CCS Applications Programmers or Systems Analysts to OS in order to arrive at meaningful solutions to the several problem areas extant. STATSPEC The automation of certain 0 functions will have an im- pact on the Printing Services Division of the Office of Logistics. The study or. the Office of Basic and Geographic Intelligence will also be of interest to the Printing Services Division as will 25X1A the Report on Text Stream Processing. Approved For Release 2002/05/02 CIA-RDP81-00261 R000300130003-6 Approved For Release 2002/0 , -RDP81-00261 R000300130003-6 COMMUNICATICNS In addition to the comments made under the GENERAL heading, the following are of interest to the Office of Communications: The implementation of the Integrated Information System at NFIC could result in a substantial technical engineer- ing and installation workload for OC as the need for remote 25X1A terminal devices connected to the system is felt. Approved For Release 2002/05/02 : CIA-RDP81-00261R000300130003-6