USGIF Releases New White Paper on Reimagining Unclassified Work

The paper is the result of a review of the current state of systems and missions by several USGIF working groups, in an unprecedented cross-working group collaboration.

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) has released a white paper titled “Reimagining Unclassified Work and Platforms: A Geographically Agnostic GEOINT Enterprise,” which examines the viability and desirability of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) work being carried out in unclassified, open work environments. The paper is the result of a review of the current state of systems and missions by several USGIF working groups, in an unprecedented cross-working group collaboration.

The value and validity of spreading data gathering, analysis, and exploitation across unclassified networks were made clear during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when multiple mission contributors were working outside of established, classified Intelligence Community (IC)/Department of Defense (DoD) environments.

Christy Monaco, Vice President of Programs, USGIF, commented on the prescient observations of the groups’ participants. “When we began working on this paper months ago, the contributors felt passionately that unclassified GEOINT data and platforms had untapped potential to contribute in meaningful and innovative ways to intelligence problems and methods. And we have since seen this play out, as unclassified GEOINT has helped to deliver decision advantage to the U.S. and our allies over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

One of the benefits put forward in the paper is that by expanding the number and scope of unclassified collaborators, there may be potential for cost savings as private sector entities compete for roles. Other benefits include increased productivity thanks to the ability to function asynchronously.

Data security measures for sensitive projects are addressed as part of a list of recommendations that balances the need for security (pointing out the availability of newer cybersafety systems and architecture) with the observation that classification standards should be re-examined and updated.

“We were so impressed with the writers across academia, industry, and government collaborating together to drive the reimagining of unclassified work,” said Ingrid Peterson, Partner, Guidehouse. “By recognizing and acting on their findings in this white paper, we can more effectively address daily challenges while reaching the benefits of a more diverse talent pool and valuable partnerships across the GEOINT Community.”

Download the new USGIF white paper and visit usgif.org/working-groups to view previously published white papers.

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