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The IJIS Factor is the IJIS Institute's blog that covers technology and information sharing and safeguarding topics, including national standards and initiatives.


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Talking Emerging Tech at SafetyNet

Posted By Steve Ambrosini, Thursday, May 21, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2015

I was invited by IJIS Institute Member Hitech Systems to speak at the SafetyNet Conference 2015 in late April. I appreciate the opportunity to work with IJIS Member companies to create interest around information sharing and safeguarding topics.

The SafetyNet Conference opened with a panel of experts discussing different perspectives on emerging technologies for public safety. I provided perspectives from the IJIS Institute along with representatives from the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), and Intrado. Much of the discussion focused on emergency communications and the challenges of moving forward with NextGen capabilities. There was a lot of audience interaction, and that resulted in further discussions on video, other imaging technologies, social media data, body-worn cameras, gunshot detection sensor data, and how to deal with all these different types of data pouring in and make sense of it. It is yet another reminder that data management continues to be an evolving policy challenge as technology matures in public safety, justice, and homeland security domains.

The panel was then augmented with a group of operational experts in 9-1-1 call taking and dispatching. The need for integrated operational and technology planning was recognized as essential for the success of any new technologies, including consideration of the impact of policy on standard operating procedures. I found very interesting the robust discussion on the potential psychological effects on call takers and dispatchers that are moving from real-time audio to the much more graphic real-time video and imaging depictions of events as they unfold. Containment concepts like discipline dispatch are being suggested to help mitigate the impact on inexperienced or unprepared personnel from unadulterated exposure to harsh graphic imagery.

The super-session was followed by a series of breakout sessions and demonstrations of the Hitech SafetyNet suite. The IJIS institute participated in a discussion on cybersecurity and its application in the Hitech SafetyNet suite. The discussion included awareness of emerging national programs and standards focused on the protection of data in the NextGen Emergency Communication environment (everything over IP) and best practices relative to policy for appropriate and efficient use of data in the IP-based data communications environment.


Tags:  emergency communications  Hitech  iCERT  Intrado  NENA  nextgen 

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A Different Cyber Perspective at InfoSec World 2015

Posted By Steve Ambrosini, Thursday, May 14, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2015

A few weeks ago I attended InfoSec World 2015. The IJIS Institute is an association partner of the event and this was our first visit to this annual conference and expo. It is put on by the MIS Training Institute (MISTI).

InfoSec World 2015 was a great experience and it provided a different perspective on the very large topic of cybersecurity that we are used to seeing at the IJIS Institute events. The conference is focused on the perspectives of technologists and Certified Information Systems Security Officers (CISSO) in the quest for cybersecurity. I am more accustomed to hearing discussions about front end access to systems and Identity Management (ICAM) issues versus the deep technology dives at InfoSec. It was a refreshing change of pace to look at this topic from another angle.

Two quick thoughts regarding InfoSec World 2015:

  • There was a lot of discussion at the event about understanding the vulnerability contours in the world of open source, and how pervasive and continuously growing the use of open source is even with known vulnerabilities. Some of the environments that we might consider the most secure are still using open source components with known vulnerabilities. As open source is essential and obviously here to stay, the path forward looks like the same path one might use to eat an elephant…focusing on one bite at a time by bolstering the immediate lines of defense with operating system component patches.
  • The term incident response, as in cyber incident response, was thrown around a lot at this conference. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ari M. Baranoff, U. S. Secret Service/Criminal Investigative Division, gave a fantastic keynote address on organized cybercrime, and stepped through the cyber incident response steps of investigation, arrest, and prosecution. It struck me that the world of law enforcement/criminal justice incident response and cyber incident response are not as different as you might think at first glance. I recently heard about companies using the Incident Command System, borrowed from the fire service, to manage cyber incident response. What things can law enforcement/public safety and cyber crime fighters learn from one another about incident response?

It was a great time to immerse myself in this cybersecurity perspective at InfoSec World 2015 considering that the IJIS Institute, through the Standards Coordinating Council, is getting more and more involved in the defense against cyber attacks through the development of standards for sharing cyber incident information. Stay tuned to the IJIS Factor blog for more on the SCC and Executive Order 13691 on Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing.

Tags:  cybersecurity  ICAM  information sharing  standards coordinating council 

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Information Sharing and Safeguarding – Collaboration is the Key

Posted By Mark Reichardt, Friday, May 8, 2015

When it comes to advancing information sharing and interoperability within and between organizations, jurisdictions, and geographies, collaboration across the public and private sectors is relied upon to help provide answers through a combination of technology, best practices and standards. Professional associations and standards development organizations (SDOs) are continually finding ways to reach across their mission boundaries to drive coordinated outcomes that benefit users nationally and internationally.  While the alliance partnership between the IJIS Institute and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) represents an effective point-to-point relationship to cooperatively address increasingly tough interoperability challenges, I am writing today to update you on a broader collaborative in which the OGC, the IJIS Institute, OMG, OASIS and many other organizations are engaged to advance  responsible information sharing and safeguarding solutions. 

The organizations noted above are part of a  Standards Coordinating Council (SCC) - a group chartered by the White House Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee (ISA IPC) that consists of  Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and industry organizations working collectively to improve information sharing and safeguarding through the application of open standards and related best practices (see  The ultimate goal of the SCC is to help achieve a broad and pervasive implementation of a National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding, and to coordinate the capabilities of the SCC that will lead to an enduring standards-based interoperability environment across the public and private sectors.  While the SCC was launched as part of a governmental Information Sharing Environment (ISE) program in the USA (see, the focus areas and challenges being addressed in this process are very much international as noted by the scoping illustration for the ISE:

 scoping illustration for the ISE

A major part of the SCC’s mission is to provide comprehensive and coordinated advice on standards and interoperability best practices and to bring issues and solutions back to its constituents for action.  This includes supporting the operationalization of interoperability architecture models like the: ISE Interoperability Framework (I2F), Geospatial Interoperability Reference Architecture (GIRA), and other resources and tools that are taking shape under the guidance of the SCC.  This body of knowledge serves to define common approaches for standards and interoperability from policy, process, data and services perspectives. There are major crosscutting functions of the Framework that are integral parts of the I2F including:

  • identity credentialing and access management,
  • geospatial information technologies,
  • cybersecurity and threat monitoring, and
  • device independent secure mobility. 

As a step in furthering the SCC mission and broadening its audience, IJIS and the OGC recently facilitated a workshop at OGC’s Technical Committee Meetings in Barcelona, Spain, to provide an overview of SCC activities, including background on the ISE, a discussion on the role of the SCC, and an overview of key documents available and in process by the SCC.  The workshop also featured a discussion of a pipeline of information sharing and safeguarding programs underway at the federal, state and local level.  Some of these pipeline projects will be “mapped” at a very detailed level to the I2F, thus operationalizing I2F standards and interoperability guidance via real-world implementation examples.   This work is being advanced under a program known as Project Interoperability.   

The international significance of this work was affirmed by the attendees of the Barcelona workshop. Similar interoperability frameworks to those being advanced by the SCC for the USA are under development in Europe and other regions. Workshop attendees agreed that there are potential opportunities for advancing requirements and use cases into the SCC process as a way to further stimulate improved international coordination. Further, workshop attendees saw value in cross-linking the I2F, the GIRA and other work products of the SCC with similar international programs.  This would broaden the availability of useful interoperability resources for all.  

One of the more fundamental realizations from the Barcelona SCC workshop was that geospatial permeates the range of topics being advanced under the SCC and Project Interoperability. Further, OGC and IJIS members attending the workshop agreed that there is ample opportunity to leverage the SCC process to advance coordinated activities – interoperability testbeds, pilot initiatives, experiments, compliance testing and certification and other activities across SDOs in a way that encourages efficiencies and alignment of standards and best practice work at a much larger scale. These realizations are also reflected in the work of the IJIS Institute’s Geospatial Task Force, where IJIS Members representing law enforcement, public safety, and justice are adding the expertise of industry to strengthen these efforts.

For more about the SCC and upcoming events at which the SCC has a role, please visit At the website you can also ask questions about the SCC, find ways to participate in the SCC activities, and submit projects for consideration in Project Interoperability. Representatives from member organizations of the SCC such as the OGC, the IJIS Institute, OMG, OASIS and others have participatory access to SCC activities. Member representatives should take the time to learn about and follow the SCC and its work – You have the ability to help influence the progress of standards information sharing and interoperability markets.

Tags:  Geospatial  International  Interoperability  OGC  Standards Coordinating Council 

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IJIS Responds to the Health Care Interoperability Roadmap

Posted By Robert L. May II, Tuesday, May 5, 2015

On 9 February 2015, the Office of National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), released an interoperability roadmap – Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Draft Version 1.0. The draft roadmap proposes critical actions for both public and private stakeholders that will advance our nation towards an interoperable health IT ecosystem. Health IT that facilitates the secure, efficient, and effective sharing and use of electronic health information, when and where it is needed, is essential to better care, smarter spending, and a healthier nation.

The IJIS Institute commends the ONC for developing a comprehensive national vision and a shared interoperability roadmap. The publication of the health interoperability roadmap and the request for public comments is a great step forward in aligning interoperable standards for maximizing information sharing and we greatly appreciate this opportunity to comment.

The IJIS Institute has been leading a national effort on justice and health information sharing for several years and, based on this experience and lessons learned, recently provided written feedback on the ONC Roadmap. (See a copy of the IJIS Institute’s ONC Roadmap feedback attached to this blog post.) IJIS provided specific recommendations on Governance, Implementation, Business Alignment, Interoperability Standards, Security, Privacy, and Trust that promote a more holistic national approach utilizing interoperable information standards where clear intersection points exist in both the justice/public safety and health business domains.

While the draft roadmap may allude to linkages between health and criminal justice communities, there needs to be a more explicit discussion about interoperability between these two communities. As stated in the report published by the IJIS Institute in 2013, Opportunities for Information Sharing to Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes, A Report by the Criminal Justice and Health Collaboration Project, “Information sharing between the criminal justice and healthcare communities has the potential to enhance both public safety and health outcomes by reducing redundancies, enhancing continuity of care, and generating efficiencies in both domains.”

The IJIS Institute realizes the critical importance of having the right perspectives at the table when information sharing and interoperability is the end goal. We are actively engaged in the Standards Coordination Council (SCC), chartered under the White House’s Information Sharing and Access Policy Committee, to explore opportunities to further semantic interoperability with cross-domain applications being advanced by stakeholders that ONC should consider participating in and leveraging the shared assets across multiple Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and Industry bodies. SCC members are currently engaged in a national effort called Project Interoperability. The goal of Project Interoperability is to help government and the private sector identify a baseline of terms, standards, frameworks, tools, and techniques to create an information sharing network in mission-agnostic terms for any type of information sharing. IJIS Institute encourages ONC to align their interoperability framework with the framework/s identified as part of the Project Interoperability and, at the same time, leverage the lessons learned, best practices, and tool sets developed by the SCC community.

IJIS Institute is ready and willing to help ONC to identify and include the vital criminal justice component for cross mission interoperability. Information interoperability is critical because it increases timely information sharing, can reduce costs and redundancy, and leverage best practices–all steps to improve decision making for government leaders, industry, and citizens.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  IJIS  Interoperabilityinformation sharing  justice-to-health 

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Monday, April 20, 2015

The IJIS Institute recently sent out a press release and created a blog post that discussed the successful enhancement of the information sharing capabilities of five states’ Victim Notification Systems (VNS): Montana, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, and Alabama.

This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. To celebrate this important week, we sent out certificates of appreciation to the following agencies for their participation in the VNS enhancement project and their continued work to help crime victims:

  • Montana Department of Correction
  • Indiana Department of Correction
  • Indiana Division of State Court Administration’s Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC)
  • Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC)
  • Talladega County Jail
  • Talladega County Information Technology Department
  • Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA)
  • Illinois Office of the Attorney General
  • Illinois Department of Corrections
  • Illinois Prisoner Review Board
  • North Dakota Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS)
  • North Dakota Courts IT

The IJIS Institute also acknowledges the significant contributions of the following IJIS Member companies involved in these implementations of the victim notification standard who contributed to the improved information sharing and services to victims: Appriss, Microsoft, Open Networks, and URL Integration.

What are you doing for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week?


Tags:  SAVIN 

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Mid-year Briefing Registration Open! Join us in Atlanta!

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The IJIS Institute's Mid-year Briefing is a must-attend conference focused on technology and information sharing and safeguarding standards.

Join us July 30-August 1, 2015, for the IJIS Institute Mid-year Briefing at the Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia, to connect with technology executives and leaders from industry and government at this unique event and engage in constructive dialogues about technology trends, issues, and solutions. Collaboratively explore various perspectives on the challenges of, and future for, technology and information sharing and safeguarding.

Why attend?

Educational programs on information sharing and safeguarding practices, technology, and standards and national programs that are turning standards into information sharing success.

Interesting presentations on cutting-edge technology initiatives like smart cities, next generation emergency communications, geospatial advances, and cybersecurity enhancements

Learn about the work of the IJIS Institute in featuring industry through national and international information sharing and safeguarding programs.

Engage in active dialog with colleagues and IJIS Institute partners on the challenges facing law enforcement, justice, and public safety leaders in the acquisition and secure use of information technology.

Find out more and register at

See you in Atlanta!

Tags:  information sharing  mid-year briefing 

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Recap: Workshop on Info Sharing and Safeguarding Standards

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Friday, March 27, 2015

Another successful Workshop on Information Sharing and Safeguarding Standards, or WIS3, went in the books yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Reston, Virginia. 

Michael Daniel, special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator for the White House, opened the event and discussed the differences between traditional security versus cybersecurity that necessitate changes in how we collectively deal with cybersecurity as a nation. One of his points was that there is an inherent need for government and industry partnerships to tackle this growing threat. 

Throughout the day, panels discussed operationalizing and expanding Project Interoperability, advances in maritime information sharing, trustmarks, and geospatial standards. 

ISE Program Manager Kshemendra Paul wrote a great recap article on WIS3 on his blog at

The WIS3 event also officially rolled out the new website for the Standards Coordination Council at

Next year's WIS3 event will be held in March 2016. We hope to see you there.

Tags:  information sharing  PM-ISE  Standards Coordinating Council  wis3 

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Standards-based Victim Notification Services Success

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The IJIS Institute posted a press release today that announces the successful enhancement of the information sharing capabilities of five states’ Victim Notification Systems (VNS): Montana, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, and Alabama. The projects were funded by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grants, including the most recent three that were performed under a subcontract agreement between the National Criminal Justice Association and the IJIS Institute. The National Information Sharing Standard for Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification provides a standards-based approach for all states to create or enhance VNS and, ultimately, provide better services to crime victims.

The IJIS Institute acknowledges the significant contributions of the following IJIS Member companies involved in these implementations of the victim notification standard who contributed to the improved information sharing and services to victims: Appriss, Microsoft, Open Networks, and URL Integration.

There is already evidence of the impact the National Information Sharing Standard for Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification implementation is having on VNS effectiveness. The press release features some really great quotes from stakeholders involved with IJIS in this project, and they are really worth a here they are!  This is truly information sharing making a difference, and showcases IJIS and IJIS Member capabilities and the successful collaboration of government and industry. 

Larry Arrington, a chief systems architect working with the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, said of the implementation in Alabama, “The NIEM-compliant County-Jail data exchange, which resulted from the National Information Sharing Standard for SAVIN project with IJIS, has given the state of Alabama an information exchange vehicle to collect jail inmate and booking data for the first time ever. This data will allow victims to register for offenders at the county level, and receive custody status change notifications via email, SMS text, or interactive voice response phone calls. This would not have been possible without the assistance of the IJIS project team.”

“The assistance that the North Dakota Criminal Justice Information Sharing Program (ND CJIS) received from IJIS provided the opportunity to enhance our court victim notifications. Specifically, our most noteworthy accomplishments were:

  • Ability to triage urgent notifications vs. less time-sensitive notifications: The timing on notifications for urgent messages is now near real-time, which ensures victims receive prompt and clear notification of cancelled and rescheduled hearings. Non-urgent notifications are held, consolidated, and released once a day.
  • Consolidating messages regarding disposition and court events: Previously, the data was often repetitive, omitted or confusing for victims. The aggregation afforded by the enhancement provides clear and user-friendly notifications.
  • Enhanced quality assurance detection and correction: The enhanced system provides program administrators with timely notification on various system failures throughout the data transfer process. This has resulted in quick detection of missing or invalid code values. The resulting intervention has improved data entry at the source, notification specificity, and our vendor’s ability to interpret court data.

Unfortunately, prior to this project, many victim witness coordinators would not refer victims to use the court notifications due to the delayed, confusing, repetitive and overly generic notifications. The reactions we’ve gotten from victim witness coordinators since this project have been positive. We anticipate that we will see a dramatic increase in the number of users within the next year due to the increased referrals and outreach made possible by these improvements.

ND SAVIN’s mission is to provide victims and other concerned individuals access to timely and reliable criminal justice information. The enhancements support the mission of ND SAVIN, specifically relating to the court process, statewide.” –Heidi Smith, SAVIN Program Manager, State of North Dakota

“The partnership that the Montana Department of Correction (DOC) has had with the IJIS institute has resulted in a very positive impact to our agency relative to Crime Victim Notification. The ability to receive an acknowledgment from our victim notification provider gave us more than a verification they received notification information; it gave us the ability to see how they interpreted our notification information and make changes that provided more accurate notification messages to the victim.” –John Daugherty, CIO, Montana Department of Corrections

“The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority has dedicated time and resources to creating a multi-jurisdictional, cross-discipline, statewide information sharing environment using the Global Standards Package. The technical assistance provided by the IJIS Institute enabled our state to implement a standards-based information exchange for SAVIN while providing our public safety stakeholders with first-hand opportunity to realize the benefits of adopting and implementing Global standards. This newly implemented automated exchange virtually eliminates the potential for human error and missed notifications and can be replicated to meet county needs.” –Mike Carter, State of Illinois

“The enhancements to the SAVIN system not only allows us to provide more timely information but also improve access to additional vital information that we were not previously able to share. This initiative with the IJIS Institute has strengthened our SAVIN system allowing us to provide improved services to the victim community in the State of Indiana.” –Brent Myers, Director of Registration and Victim Services at the Indiana Department of Correction

Tags:  IJIS  information sharing  SAVIN  standards 

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The IJIS Factor is Back!

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Monday, March 2, 2015

Welcome to the new IJIS Factor blog!

With the rollout of a new website for the IJIS Institute and a new Member portal, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to start fresh with the IJIS Factor blog.

Over the years, the IJIS Factor blog has been a great way for our leaders to talk about current issues and trends in information sharing and safeguarding, and it will continue to serve that purpose going forward. We also want the blog to be an area where our committee and task force leaders can talk about their accomplishments and hot topics, where Members can talk trends and cutting edge concepts and solicit feedback, and where staff can tell you about what the IJIS Institute is doing.

If you are interested in providing a blog article, please contact our webmaster at

Please subscribe to The IJIS Factor Blog so you will see all the posts and keep up with the important work of the IJIS Institute and its Members! 

Tags:  ijis  information sharing  member 

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