The CIA announced their DDI program: an in-house bureau focused on tech

While going through my backlog of reading material, I found an article from FCW (The Business of Federal Technology) that pointed out the CIA has a “new” digital directorate that “brings together cyber, IT, and open source intel.”

Called the Directorate for Digital Innovation (DDI), it’s an in-house bureau “devoted to giving officers around the world better IT tools to do traditional cloak-and-dagger work.”

Bear in mind this is just the official announcement of the CIA’s DDI program. This little baby has been running around for some time now and is just now announcing they’re ready to go outside and play.

The CIA says their new info ops center is not “an alternative NSA” and is composed of three segments: “an open source center; a center for handling cyber threats and operations; and the agency’s IT enterprise”.

I’m sure the DDI is going to be an “active” bureau despite all the delicate phrasing in the article, but I really hope the inward-facing DDI is more than a glorified help desk and has some enforceable executive tech behind it. By enforceable executive tech, I mean getting agents up to date with modern security practices with the authority to make upgrades and training more than “suggestions” or optional “time-for-a-promotion” courses.

Exhibit A: Grand poo-bah CIA Director John Brennan was OK with using AOL for his AGENCY EMAILS and his AOL account got hacked by a script kiddie amateur.

Yeah, there’s obviously some BIG changes that need to be made internally. From waaaay up high at that.

Good luck DDI.

The article on FCW can be found here.