Dr. Jerry Lucas: Exclusive Interview with TeleStrategies ISS Founder

January 14, 2013

Dr. Jerry Lucas, founder of TeleStrategies, is an expert in digital information and founder of the ISS World series of conferences. “ISS” is shorthand for “intelligence support systems.” The scope of Mr. Lucas’ interests range from the technical innards of modern communications systems to the exploding sectors for real time content processing. Analytics, fancy math, and online underpin Mr. Lucas’ expertise and form the backbone of the company’s training and conference activities.

What makes Dr. Lucas’ viewpoint of particular value is his deep experience in “lawful interception, criminal investigations, and intelligence gathering.” The perspective of an individual with Dr. Lucas’ professional career offers an important and refreshing alternative to the baloney promulgated by many of the consulting firms explaining online systems.

Dr. Lucas offered a more “internationalized” view of the Big Data trend which is exercising many US marketers’ and sales professionals’ activities. He said:

“Big Data” is an eye catching buzzword that works  in the US. But as you go east across the globe, “Big Data” as a buzzword doesn’t get traction in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific Regions if you remove Russia and China. One interesting note is that Russian and Chinese government agencies only buy from vendors based in their countries. The US Intelligence Community (IC) has big data problems because of the obvious massive amount of data gathered that’s now being measured in zettabytes.  The data gathered and stored by the US Intelligence Community is growing beyond what typical database software products can handle as well as the tools to capture, store, manage and analyze the data. For the US, Western Europe, Russia and China, “Big Data” is a real problem and not a hyped up buzzword.

Western vendors have been caught in the boundaries between different countries’ requirements. Dr. Lucas observed:

A number of western vendors made a decision because of the negative press attention to abandon the global intelligence gathering market.  In the US  Congress Representative Chris Smith (R, NJ) sponsored a bill that went nowhere to ban the export of intelligence gathering products period.  In France a Bull Group subsidiary, Amesys legally sold intelligence gathering systems to Lybia but received a lot of bad press during Arab Spring.  Since Amesys represented only a few percent of Bull Group’s annual revenues, they just sold the division.  Amesys is now a UAE company, Advanced Middle East Systems (Ames). My take away here is governments particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia have concerns about the long term regional presence of western intelligence gathering vendors who desire to keep a low public profile. For example, choosing not to exhibit at ISS World Programs. The next step by these vendors could be abandoning the regional marketplace and product support.

The desire for federated information access is, based on the vendors’ marketing efforts, is high. Dr. Lucas made this comment about the existence of information silos:

Consider the US where you have 16 federal organizations collecting intelligence data plus the oversight of the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). In addition there are nearly 30,000 local and state police organizations collecting intelligence data as well. Data sharing has been a well identified problem since 9/11.  Congress established the ODNI in 2004 and funded the Department of Homeland Security to set up State and Local Data Fusion Centers.  To date Congress has not been impressed.  DNI James Clapper has come under intelligence gathering fire over Benghazi and the DHS has been criticized in an October Senate report that the $1 Billion spent by DHS on 70 state and local data fusion centers has been an alleged waste of money. The information silo or the information stovepipe problem will not go away quickly in the US for many reasons.  Data cannot be shared because one agency doesn’t have the proper security clearances, job security which means “as long as I control access the data I have a job,” and privacy issues, among others.

The full text of the exclusive interview with Dr. Lucas is at http://www.arnoldit.com/search-wizards-speak/telestrategies-2.html. The full text of the 2011 interview with Dr. Lucas is at this link. Stephen E Arnold interviewed Dr. Lucas on January 10, 2013. The full text of the interview is available on the ArnoldIT.com subsite “Search Wizards Speak.”

Worth reading.

Donald Anderson, January 14, 2013

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