The CIA is working to develop an internal social network comparable to Facebook or MySpace. This network, A-Space, will permit agents of the CIA to exchange and collect information in a more effective and timely way than currently possible. It will link the 17,000 employees of the CIA throughout the world. However, the project raises concerns for many agents and national security analysts because of online security risks. As a consequence participation will be voluntary.
This project will be a new tool to improve the fight against terrorism. It directly seeks to improve the communication lapses, which facilitated the attacks of 09/11. Mike Wertheimer, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the Financial Times that "We are willing to experiment in ways that we have never experimented before". He adds "It breaks a lot of traditional senses that people's lives are at risk, and how can you take any step that increases that risk."
Apart from its own network, the agency also considers to forge exchanges with other foreign intelligence agencies, for example, the British MI-5 . Producing collective intelligence will improve global security and help prevent future terrorist attacks. But once again the project runs up against many challenges. This type of project depends upon agencies to aggressively share information through "an intelligence library," (BBC) which many nations may not want to participate in.
The A-Space project will be viable in December 2007.