FBI Deploying N-DEx Advanced Security Search Engine

Thursday, February 03, 2011



The Federal Bureau of Investigation is preparing to make the N-DEx data sharing network available to more law enforcement agencies across the nation.

N-DEx has been deployed to, and tested by, a limited number of agencies since the project began in earnest in 2008.

The new system will allow law enforcement agencies to better share a wide variety of information required for criminal investigations, essentially removing obstacles compounded by the large number of independent data silos spread across the country.

From the FBI's description of the system:

"N-DEx is what you might expect: a national information-sharing system available through a secure Internet site for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. N-DEx allows agencies to search and analyze data using some powerful automated capabilities, helping to connect the dots between people, places, and events."

The N-DEx system represents the most significant advancement in information sharing efforts between independent law enforcement agencies at both the federal and local levels in more than a decade.

"This month's third and final phase will add probation and parole information to the database, as well as enhancements to some of its existing capabilities. And best of all, the N-DEx interface has been completely redone, giving it the look and feel of a commercial search engine, complete with filters and more streamlined result sets. Now, N-DEx will now be able to support 200 million searchable records, and with future modification, that number can readily increase to two billion records," according to an FBI statement.

The system's primary developer is defense giant Raytheon, which is assisting in the nationwide implementation of the system.

Addressing privacy and application concerns concerns, the FBI site states that the system "includes appropriate safeguards to protect privacy and civil liberties. Access to information in N-DEx will be strictly controlled by the law enforcement agency who 'owns' the info—each agency decides what data to share, with whom, and under what circumstances"

"Each time the system is accessed, a log is generated so administrators can determine who accessed it, for what purpose, and what information was obtained. And note: N-DEx is not a new records system—the only 'new' records created will be the links made between information that already exists in law enforcement databases."

Source:  http://www.cio.com/article/661469/FBI_Set_to_Unwrap_Advanced_Security_Search_Engine

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