'Google-like' System to Link US Intelligence Agencies
Overhaul includes databases, email
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2009 8:00 AM CST
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell appears on "Fox News Sunday" on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008.    (AP Photo/FOX News Sunday, Freddie Lee)
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(Newser) – The computer databases of the 16 US intelligence agencies soon will be linked, the Wall Street Journal reports. The system comes nearly 5 years after the spy agencies got heat for failing to "connect the dots" before the Sept. 11 attacks. Analysts will be able to search through secret files the same way civilians can search public data on the Internet.

Right now, analysts have access to only about 5% of the documents relevant to a particular subject; the new system will up that to 95%. It also includes a unified email system and social-networking features. The bulk of the program should be up and running by the end of the year; it will be overseen by Dennis Blair, the president's pick for intelligence director.