DEA Looking to Boost Surveillance Efforts with Enhanced Information Technology

In an effort to perform what it calls “rapid prototyping” as well as improve data analysis and other IT capabilities, the Drug Enforcement Administration is working on a proposal to expand the information gathering and analysis infrastructure of its special intelligence division.

There are currently six different operational environments each with a distinct classification that would need to be linked with one another. The proposed infrastructure change would provide the unit with the ability to better and more efficiently analyze, process, and transfer information into the myriad information systems that exist within the agency. It would also provide data management support and formatting, quality assurance measures, and enhanced capacity for data transfer.

Congress has recently ordered the reorganization of the DEA’s intelligence activities, which will establish what it calls DOMEX, an acronym for Document and Media Exploitation, which would be primarily implemented within the agency’s Office of Special Intelligence. The main function of the DOMEX program is to carry out the analysis of a variety of evidence from electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, tablets, and other similar devices. The DEA’s OSI is tasked with meeting the objectives of enforcement and intelligence within the agency.

According to DOMEX policy most DEA investigations have some element of digital data storage. This element involves mining for data in digital cameras, cell phones, and computer devices. The agency is drafting a contract for a yet-to-be-chosen IT firm that will be expected to provide hardware and software management and maintenance on-site at the agency’s Fairfax, Virginia facility as well as to maintain the agency’s current tech systems and networking infrastructure.

The new IT enhancements are intended and expected to help DEA agents perform reconnaissance and intelligence gathering duties more quickly and efficiently and to allow them to work more efficiently with law enforcement agents in other countries.