Lewis Shepherd, executive consultant on advanced technologies for Deloitte Consulting, had one word for people trying to predict the future: don’t. Speaking on emerging technologies at AFCEA’s Army Signal Conference, Shepherd said change is happening too dynamically for people to be able to foresee what lies over the near horizon. Growth in network capabilities is growing exponentially, and no one can predict where it will lead any more than the founders of the ARPANet could have foreseen today’s Internet. Shepherd displayed graphs showing how many types of capabilities grew rapidly while others declined precipitously. Many of these trends were unanticipated. “It’s not easy to predict the future,” he said. “You shouldn’t even try. You should do what the ARPANet team did and just start building.”
...For many in the cybersecurity community, Friday’s attack was a watershed moment — “a new era of internet attacks powered by everyday devices,” as the Times put it. “The game has changed,” Lewis Shepherd, a technology consultant, wrote on his website. “The tidal wave is well upon us and won’t be technically turned back in large part.” The technical challenge, as Shepherd and many others have noted, is that there’s little way to secure already compromised devices. The only solution, it seems, is to disconnect the millions of vulnerable devices from the internet.
"...How the Defense Department is evaluating new solutions and technologies, along with the desire to get them into the hands of warfighters. With new technology hubs being introduced around the country, you will get a firsthand update on the intent of the new organization, its mission, and how it will be working with innovative companies and engaging with Silicon Valley."
...Shepherd explains that industry is spending much more on research and development than the government. Microsoft plans to invest $9.5 billion this year. "So we have a distinct corporate interest in being around for another three decades," Shepherd says. "The only way we’re going to do that is by creating great, compelling new capabilities, and we’re inventing them in our labs.” He also believes the government must pay attention to industry developments so the public sector understands the latest advancements, especially in light of shrinking budgets. The standing up of his group in 2004 represented Microsoft’s desire to work closely with government to advance technology in the public sector... (Cover story)
...A panel of experts at the Intelligence & National Security Summit last week in Washington, D.C., agreed that the explosion of data is generally a good thing when it comes to meeting the mission of the intelligence community. However, it raises concerns about how to sift useful information from the vast quantities of data generated, as well as issues of privacy. Lewis Shepherd said that "there are three overriding vectors in the Internet of Things that we in the community can and should be thinking about." IoT represents "a tremendous offensive collection capability and potential for operational use," he said, but added, "I think that's an overly limiting filter, if you will, an unhelpful filter, constraining the thinking of the community." (read more)
"...In addition to installing formal expectations and programs, leaders should highlight the importance of entrepreneurial attitudes in day-to-day work. Lewis Shepherd spurred intelligence innovation and reform with a strategy... Shepherd’s team excelled under his leadership and helped lead the intelligence community with a number of new hardware and software systems, including A-Space, a social networking environment for the national intelligence community that was named one of Time magazine’s 'Best Inventions of 2008.'"
IT Security Entrepreneurs Forum, Stanford University:
...At Microsoft's Silicon Valley research and development laboratory, the software giant has combined a privacy research team -- "a very large team actually,” with a cyber science team to synchronize the two aims, Shepherd said...
...There is precedence for such groups being infiltrated, Shepherd said. The former Soviet Union and China in the 1950s and 1960s were adept at infiltrating and sometimes taking over home-grown national liberation movements in developing nations and using them in their global rivalry against the West. "They didn’t always have complete control of the operations of these national liberation movements, but strategically they were certainly able to exploit their activities,” he said. The degree of state sponsored influence or guidance in Anonymous’ ranks is unknown, and hasn’t received a lot of attention yet, he added. Companies who find themselves the target of Anonymous should take responsibility for protecting their own data, he said. But stopping a nation state from an attack is something different. In that case, there has to be a close partnership between industry and government....
“The CIA specifically needs the help of innovative tech firms to keep up with the pace of innovation in social media. Experienced IC analysts may not be the best at detecting the incessant shift in popularity of social-networking sites. They need help in following young international internet user-herds as they move their allegiance from one site to another,” says Lewis Shepherd, the former senior technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency...
..."Facebook says that more than 70 percent of its users are outside the U.S., in more than 180 countries," said Lewis Shepherd, a former technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency."There are more than 200 non-U.S., non-English-language microblogging Twitter-clone sites today. If the intelligence community ignored that tsunami of real-time information, we'd call them incompetent."
Mark Lowenthal from the Intelligence and Security Academy, and Lewis Shepherd with the Microsoft Institute, continue a debate started in the pages of SIGNAL Magazine on whether or not an emphasis on Big Data in the IC should be a top priority at this time...
...a series of one-on-one conversations from the national security community or the digital freedom/government transparency community... Lewis has a really interesting background...When I asked him what he felt about the last year's revelations [Snowden], here's what he said...
...Totalitarian regimes that do not want to give their citizens the right to petition government see the value of social networking tools as propaganda tools, said Lewis Shepherd, a former senior technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Shepherd cited the recent elections in Iran in which the Iranian government used Web filtering software to block its citizens from access to Facebook. Later, the regime realized the potential of spreading anti-western propaganda through Facebook pages, which it set up through front groups, he said. “You can’t win the [game] if you’re not in it,” Shepherd said, citing the need for U.S. defense and government agencies to embrace social media...
...Before joining Microsoft's Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments, Lewis Shepherd spent four years at the Defense Intelligence Agency where he helped usher in a new era of collaboration. In this interview, he discusses how the Institute's small team of seven is exploring the nooks and crannies of Microsoft's research efforts and technology portfolios, looking for ways to help governments meet the diverse set of enterprise challenges they face...
Host John Gilroy chats with Lewis Shepherd. The challenge is, of course, how to accomplish the noble goals of transparency and citizen participation in a secure manner. Traditional IT vendors are changing to adapt to the new requirements. Microsoft has released a new version of SharePoint as well as a scalable hosting environment called Azure...Lewis Shepherd has a background in the private sector as well as years of federal IT experience...
WebCitizen Interview, Gov 2.0 Summit, Washington DC:
"Privacy, Security, Governments, and Corporate Clouds": Interview with Argentine media outlets, Buenos Aires:
"The individuals we selected to honor this year stood out for various reasons. Each tackled overwhelming challenges with vision, a can-do spirit and a certain prowess in harnessing technology. But each, in his or her own way, also managed to inspire unusual support and solutions - often in the face of heavy resistance... As Senior Technology Officer and chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency's requirements and research group, Shepherd not only has the latest technologies at his disposal but also is working to develop the next generation of tools."
...Lab X in the US Defense Intelligence Agency: Just having the name Lab X would make it pretty exciting in my book, but they're also a military espionage organisation who have set up a knowledge-sharing wiki called Intellipedia which is becoming the first-choice source for reference information for American spies; a mashup tool for building Pentagon intelligence briefings from data in the semantically-tagged Alien [All-source Intelligence Environment] database that links up to Google Earth; an image-sharing application called Gallery that was developed and deployed in three days; and RSS feeds generated from web searches, email accounts and wiki updates. Much of Lab X's work is based on existing open source applications, so they have an extensive security testing programme and anonymous access is not allowed. Lewis Shepherd, chief of the requirements and research group at the Defense Intelligence Agency, said: "Lab X is the rapid prototyping environment, applications are fully vetted and tested without causing any damage to data or to the infrastructure.“
Defense 2.0 a Work in Progress Lewis Shepherd, chief technology officer, Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments, and a former senior technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, suggested that there were many reasons why not everything will be done on the Web. As an outgrowth of Moore’s Law, the evolution of mini- and multi-core processors will continue to make computing available in increasingly smaller client form factors, he said, in some cases, invisible and other cases embedded. Consequently, "we don’t see everything going to cloud computing," Shepherd said... The answer won’t be in the browser, but in the data and in looking at the cloud like an operating system. That’s "why we’re placing a lot of [research and development] effort on a cloud-based approach as the right path. It’s also why I’m incredibly optimistic about the Web 3.0 -- the semantic Web -- which is all about the value of embedded data."
"The 2007 Government Computer News Agency Awardhonors the men and women of government technology who have shown innovation and excellence in their achievements... Alien is not a single application or system but an array of services and capabilities implemented at an enterprise scale... Alien as a program was first discussed in May of 2006, tasked in June of 2006 and the first prototype was deployed in October of 2006. A major suite of additional functions is scheduled for activation in March 2008."
"The second Internet revolution is a fundamental shift in technology architectures, application content, communication, collaboration and business services. Listen as Gartner EXP VP and Executive Partner Tamra Hall talks to Lewis Shepherd, Senior Technology Officer at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, about how he has integrated emerging technologies into his day-to-day business practices."
"Military Intelligence Goes Web 2.0" "Shepherd said the DIA's analysts are similar to workers in other industries in that 'they rely upon and demand instant gratification' for their information needs. Prabhat Agarwal, an information security industry analyst at Input, a research firm that specializes in governmental issues, said that the DIA and other defense agencies have become the most advanced users of Web 2.0 tools in the federal government."
"Interviews with Innovators" Podcast [Click to listen]"Shepherd has promoted and observed a remarkable transformation that's occurring inside the U.S. intelligence community as analysts begin to embrace Web 2.0 practices... Jon Udell and Shepherd discuss the origins, progress, and future of these initiatives. They also discuss broader IT efforts within the Department of Defense: service-oriented architecture, consolidation and virtualization, and the relationship between informal Web 2.0 and formal 'Web 3.0' approaches to the semantic Web."
"Using Web 2.0 tech in a top secret world" "Knowledge workers at the Defense Intelligence Agency are like any in Corporate America: They want to be able to share information with each other more easily. Of course, the information is highly sensitive and the network is rated "Top Secret". So how does a IT guy deal with the cloak and dagger parameters in open, Web 2.0 world? Lewis Shepherd, former senior technology officer at the DIA, explains on this edition of Voices from IT Roadmap."
"It appears that momentum has been building. The Computerworld story contains the assertion from Lewis Shepherd, chief of the DIA's requirements and research group at the Pentagon, that across agencies, wikis and blogs are becoming as ubiquitous as e-mail in terms of information sharing. Wow."
"The Web of Tomorrow" "...'A number of our agency analysts and technology engineers follow innovation on the Internet pretty closely,' said Lewis Shepherd, chief of the requirements and research group at DIA....The Web 2.0 phenomenon has been implemented hand-in-hand with the agency's service-oriented architecture, known as ALIEN, or All-source Intelligence Environment. 'ALIEN includes semantically enhanced and richly metadata tagged data based on a common metadata standard on structured and unstructured data from multiple databases,' Shepherd said. 'We have found that with this common data format and Web 2.0 tools, we get a big bang for our buck with much richer data right out of the box'...."
"Lewis Shepherd, chief of requirements and research for the DIA, which has 11,000 military and civilian employees worldwide, [says] DIA analysts have access to as many as 300 sources of information--individual data feeds, databases, and data from other intelligence agencies. DIA uses XML formatting and metadata-tagging software packages from Attensity and Inxight Software, as well as Lockheed Martin's AeroText and SRA International's NetOwl, to format its data feeds..."
"Global Counter-Terror Mashup" "...Shepherd also mentioned something new to me: information mashups that collect RSS feeds, Google maps and data from the DIA network, and present all that info in new, revealing combinations..."
"Defense Intelligence Assumes More Diverse Missions" "...ALIEN involves an all-source intelligence network that integrates commercial search and discovery applications, advanced link analysis, secure visualization capabilities and a cross-domain search capability. DIA should achieve significant goals by this summer, and then that integration will be expanded to include the services, the combat support agencies, and the national intelligence community. The DIA is always looking for cutting edge technologies."
"...Shepherd said it 'sparks out-of-the-box innovation in how we do information-sharing.' Asked to elaborate on that innovation, Shepherd said, ‘It's all classified."
"For DIA, Interoperability Begins with the Data" "An 'explosion in blogging in the intelligence community' is one way to promote an exchange of ideas, Shepherd added. RSS feeds, RSS readers and standards-based instant messaging are currently available to DIA users. 'We've begun to use those internally at DIA and across the agencies. It's exciting to see the profusion of them,' Shepherd said. 'We have no idea what blogging is going to do in two to three years for intelligence analysis, but for a collaborative environment, it will probably dwarf what we could do with a designed system.' "
"Some of the most prominent leaders of Silicon Valley's high-tech industry emerged from a private meeting with Democrat Bill Clinton on Tuesday and, in an extraordinary moment in the campaign, anointed him the candidate of change and innovation. It was a coup for Clinton...The high-tech leaders -- at what Mayor McEnery called 'an extraordinary gathering of people involved in making Silicon Valley famous around the world'..." [article includes list of 21 "Silicon Valley Business Luminaries"]