NGA More Open to Unclassified Data

  1. Communication Signals Infrastructure
  2. Article
    1. NGA
    2. NGA notes advantages of unclassified commercial data
    3. SpaceNews
    5. Summary
      1. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has traditionally fused unclassified commercial data with government datasets to yield classified data products for intelligence.
      2. They are shifting away from this position as unclassified data streams have exploded to one of exploiting commercial data streams in the unclassified space or letting companies analyze their own data and provide the resulting analytic services to NGA. This change in perspective follows from the proliferation of commercial Earth-observing satellites.
      3. This new approach would allow a diversity of analytic services contractors to gain public trust clearances to process with this unclassified data and provide tailored products for use in NGA workflows.
  3. This has a number of cyber-security implications. Oftentimes, commercial satellites don’t have the same level of cyber-security protections that many government or military satellites do leaving them open to attack by script kiddies, nation states, and cyber-terrorists or cyber-criminals. Furthermore, public trust clearances are much easier to attain than secret and top secret clearances. Thus, if an attacker had knowledge that a certain commercial data provider contracted with NGA, they could attack the commercial data provider to get to NGA particularly if the commercial data products are being used directly by NGA analysts. This new approach by NGA broadens the threat surface, opening NGA up to various attacks like poisoning attacks.
  4. This new policy most impacts the critical data.