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CIA Officers are Warming to Intellipedia

pickens (49171) writes | more than 5 years ago

Government 0

Hugh Pickens writes "The CIA is adopting Web 2.0 tools like collaborative wikis but not without a struggle in an agency with an ingrained culture of secrecy. "We're still kind of in this early adoptive stage," says Sean Dennehy, a CIA analyst and self-described "evangelist" for Intellipedia, the US intelligence community's version of the popular user-curated online encyclopedia Wikipedia adding that "trying to implement these tools in the intelligence community is basically like telling people that their parents raised them wrong. It is a huge cultural change." Dennehy says Intellipedia, which runs on secure government intranets and is used by 16 US intelligence agencies, was started as a pilot project in 2005 and now has approximately 100,000 user accounts and gets about 4,000 edits a day. "Some people have (supported it) but there's still a lot of other folks kind of sitting on the fence." Dennehy says wikis are "a challenge to our culture because we grew up in this kind of 'need to know' culture and now we need a balance between 'need to know' and 'need to share.'" A desire to compartamentalize information is another problem. "Inevitably, every person, the first question we were asked is 'How do I lock down a page?' or 'How do I lock down a page so that just my five colleagues can access that?'" The growth of Intellipedia has so far largely been fueled by early adopters and enthusiasts says Chris Rasmussen, a social-software knowledge manager and trainer at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. ""We are struggling to take it to the next level.""

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