For eight months, a quiet battle has raged between two federal agencies that piece together clues of potential terror threats, says the Baltimore Sun. The dispute is not about the clues, but what to call them. With more than 100 labels in use among the various federal agencies to identify types of unclassified, but sensitive, information — and who gets access to it — the Justice and Homeland Security departments were assigned last year to consolidate the list to just a few labels that would be shared by all agencies. Some officials have been reluctant to give up not only the labels they’re familiar with, but also control over who gets information, intelligence officials and lawmakers said.
The conflict is a major obstacle to the administration’s information-sharing initiative. A critical report is expected today from the nonpartisan Markle Foundation on federal intelligence sharing. The document reportedly concludes that information sharing has been “stalled by turf wars and unclear lines of authority and control.” Homeland Security Department spokeswoman Joanna Gonzalez said she expects resolution “in the near term” and that “doing this the right way is essential.”