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Enhanced Portal for Image Exchange and Increased Functionality over Nlets (ePort)

Summary

The face of Nlets is that of a static interface utilizing a secure, private, MPLS connection. While this architecture has met the needs of the core Nlets user, it is not appropriate for all users who qualify for access to the system. In order to meet the needs of these users, Nlets has developed and implemented a secure Internet access point for data dissemination to those customers where a private network connection is not an option.

In early 2008, the Nlets Portal was created and modified from a web-based system developed by Maricopa County Integrated Criminal Justice Information System (ICJIS) called Justice Web Interface (JWI). The JWI provides efficient, consolidated access to electronic criminal history record information.

Originally released in 2003, JWI has matured to support all production Nlets services and thousands of users. JWI is a shared source code product and is free of charge to all LE agencies.

Nlets used the NIJ RAND grant to tailor the Nlets Portal to meet Nlets needs; and, specifically, to expand the capabilities of RAND.


Overview

Each time Nlets implements a new service, Nlets customers (50 states and over 20 federal agencies) must make programming changes to accommodate access for their users to this new service. While this process is becoming increasingly streamlined, it often results in an adoption period sometimes taking several years due to varying resource levels across all Nlets users, their technology, and their ability to respond.

There is no low- or no-cost alternative network solution for Nlets state and federal members, local LE agencies, or small-use organizations to gain access to Nlets services. There is also no way for the first responder community of non-LE to access Nlets services.

The E-PORT project is to enhance portal for image exchange and increased functionality over the Nlets Portal. The portal is only available to Nlets members. The portal application allows members to access all message keys and enhanced RAND capability through a simple to use web interface.


Objectives

Electronic images can provide great benefits and can easily be extended to support mainstream LE functions. Additionally, proactive alerting allows for a single point of notification for a variety of LE uses, including, but not limited to, alerts for plates/persons of interest, terrorist watch lists subjects, and missing and exploited children.

  • Image Exchange—Take the initial work done with JWI and expand on it to allow for the exchange of all images (e.g. DL photos, corrections, probation/parole, etc.) through the Nlets Portal.
  • Pro-Active Alerting—Enable pro-active alerting capabilities. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is the pilot site.
  • Authentication and Authorization Service—Produce a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) regarding multi-factor authentication and authorization into the Nlets Portal.

Benefits

The Nlets Internet Portal Solution is already developed and in production. Being a shared source product, any and all agencies will benefit from any upgrades expended by any of the other agencies using the system. Currently, the Nlets Portal has functionality programmed allowing authorized users access to current Nlets services. The functionality is much like many interfaces that we all use on the Internet; its usage is intuitive and the responses are accurate and very fast.

Benefits include:

  1. Interim access to new Nlets services for all Nlets customers while states make programming changes
  2. Inexpensive access to Nlets services for new low use members
  3. Enhanced RAND Capability
  4. Disaster recovery/redundancy for all Nlets users
  5. Reference implementation for testing