WASHINGTON, Nov 3, 2006 (AFP) – US officials say they have created their own version of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia for intelligence agents, in a bid to encourage US spy agencies to share information and transcend bureaucratic rivalries. Launched in April, Intellipedia allows analysts and officials from a range of agencies to add and edit content on intelligence topics in a collaborative manner through a classified internal web.

The office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) says the project will help revolutionise the prevailing culture of the US intelligence community, widely blamed for failing to “connect the dots” before the attacks of September 11, 2001.

“It’s a new way of thinking,” said Michael Wertheimer, DNI’s chief technology officer in analysis.

The project was greeted initially with “a lot of resistance,” said Wertheimer, because it runs counter to past practise that sought to limit the pooling of information.

“There were a lot of analysts who said, ‘I’m never going to use this, this is a waste of time,'” he told reporters this week.

The brainchild of a tech-savvy younger generation of spies, Intellipedia has grown to include 3,600 users and more than 28,000 pages of content, according to DNI. <