The Regional Information Sharing Systems® (RISS) is a nationwide program that provides secure information and intelligence sharing capabilities, investigative and analytical services, and officer safety event deconfliction to thousands of local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies; fusion centers; and other appropriate partners across the country. RISS consists of six centers and the RISS Technology Support Center (RTSC). RISS supports and responds to the needs of its six regions while working together and with partners on nationwide initiatives. RISS offers numerous resources that aid investigative efforts, including investigation of cyber-related threats and crimes.
RISS developed and operates the RISS Criminal Intelligence Database (known as RISSIntel™). RISSIntel is a web-based application that provides for a real-time, online federated search of more than 50 connected RISS and partner intelligence databases, including state intelligence systems, fusion center systems, and systems connected via the National Virtual Pointer System. RISSIntel is accessible via the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET™) and contains millions of intelligence records submitted by RISS member agencies on targets and organizations suspected of involvement in criminal activity, as well as locations, vehicles, weapons, telephone numbers, and cyber-related data. After entering information into RISSIntel, officers often discover that they are investigating the same target as another law enforcement agency or officer.
RISSIntel complies with the Criminal Intelligence Systems Operating Policies, 28 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 23, which governs the collection, storage, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal intelligence information and protects the privacy and constitutional rights of individuals. All criminal intelligence databases electronically connected via RISSNET and available for member agency access must also comply with 28 CFR Part 23.
RISSIntel is designed to encourage exchange of information and coordination among agencies investigating the same individuals (subject/targets) or organizations. Authorized agencies and users may access RISSIntel online via RISSNET or may contact their center intelligence research staff directly via telephone or e-mail for assistance.
The RISS Program was awarded funding for the Northeast Fusion Center Intelligence Project from the Office of the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE). The project aims to implement the ability of fusion centers in the Northeast Region to utilize their existing intelligence system by connecting to RISSIntel.
By leveraging RISSNET and RISSIntel, fusion centers and other appropriate systems can securely share intelligence data among themselves and other entities efficiently and effectively, analyze criminal and terrorism data across jurisdictional boundaries and agencies, and safeguard privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. A critical element of the project is the efficient use of proven standards-based, system-to-system data exchange tools, such as those RISSIntel has integrated, including the Logical Entity Exchange Specifications (LEXS)/National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).
RISS identified 17 fusion centers to participate in this project. Each of the fusion centers either had or was in the process of acquiring a software system to manage its intelligence information. Since the inception of the project, fusion centers outside the Northeast Region have expressed interest in participating, and some of those sites were also connected under this project. Most recently, the following sites have been connected to RISSIntel under this project:
Connecticut Intelligence Center
Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center
Boston Regional Intelligence Center
New York State Intelligence Center
Vermont Intelligence Center
Cincinnati/Hamilton County Terrorism Early Warning Group (TEWG) connection (formerly called the Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center TEWG)
Rhode Island State Fusion Center
Montana All-Threat Intelligence Center
Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center
There are additional sites pending that are planned to complete connectivity by the end of the year. RISS is working with partners to expand this project in future years to other parts of the country.
These connections directly impact the ability to share critical information across jurisdictions in a timely and secure manner. As more and more agencies connect and share information, all types of data, including cyber, will be more easily accessible to those who need it most.
In addition to RISSIntel and the Northeast Fusion Center Intelligence Project initiative, RISS provides other resources to support investigative operations that specifically support cyber-related information sharing and investigations.
MTI—The nationwide Master Telephone Index (MTI) contains subscriber phone data (including cyber) that is available for searching on RISSNET. Currently, the MTI has more than 24 million records.
RISSProp—The RISS Property and Recovery Tracking System (RISSProp) contains data submitted by pawnshops, secondhand dealers, and other stores and law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. RISSProp has more than 13 million records available and has been instrumental in connecting cases of all types of crimes and has helped the recovery of items to rightful owners.
RISSafe—The RISS Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System (RISSafe™) is a nationwide officer safety event deconfliction system that monitors planned law enforcement operations with the goal of identifying possible operational conflicts and notifying affected agency and officers. As of August 31, 2016, more than 1.36 million operations have been submitted to RISSafe and more than 395,000 conflicts have been generated. In 2015, RISS worked with its partners to architect the solution to connect the three nationally recognized officer safety event deconfliction systems—RISSafe, SAFETNet, and Case Explorer—using the technology solution known as the Partner Deconfliction Interface (PDI). This effort represents a significant milestone in enhancing officer safety and information sharing among law enforcement.
Investigative Support Services—In addition, RISS provides diverse and specialized investigative support services to help identify, apprehend, and prosecute criminals, including the following:
Develops analytical products, such as specialized charts, crime scene diagrams, telephone toll analysis products, and financial analysis reports.
Provides digital forensics and audio/video enhancements.
Loans specialized investigative equipment, such as specialized cameras, recorders, and other devices.
Researches intelligence and investigative resources and provides a comprehensive report of findings to officers.
Provides one-on-one technical support through RISS’s field services staff.
Provides confidential funds to assist officers with undercover operations and buy-busts.
Trains thousands of law enforcement officers on timely and relevant topics, such as emerging crime, officer safety, and investigative techniques.
Develops publications, such as “Cybertrends: Swatting, Ghosting, Doxxing and Hack Attack!” and “Protecting Data Networks From Cyber Criminals,” as well as law enforcement-sensitive briefings.
As cybercrime continues to threaten our nation, it is critical for agencies and officers to quickly share relevant information in a secure and timely fashion. With the various resources and initiatives RISS supports, it can serve as a key partner and resource for those investigating cyberthreats and crimes.
For More Information
For more information about RISS,
visit www.riss.net and facebook.com/TheRISSProgram.
Visit www.riss.net/Impact to read successes submitted by agencies and officers who have used RISS’s services and resources to help their investigative and prosecutorial efforts.