The analysis of events prior to and during September 11 revealed that a smooth execution of the intelligence process is hampered by inadequate information sharing. This caused a rethinking of the intelligence process and a transition towards a ‘Globally Networked and Integrated Intelligence Enterprise’ with the goal that more detailed, tagged, and, therefore, traceable, information will reach those who need it, when they need it, and in a form that they can easily absorb. We present the referent tracking paradigm and its implementation in networks of referent tracking systems as an enabling technology to make this vision come true. Referent tracking uses a system of singular and globally unique identifiers to track not only entities and events in first-order reality, but also the data and information elements that are created to describe such entities and events in information systems. By doing so, it meets the requirements of the Nation's Information Sharing Strategy.
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