Behind the scences

FERRIER International sharing article “Behind the Scenes FBI experts deliver technical tools” thanks to the FBI.-?


FBI Experts Deliver Technical Tools


Audio technician working on voice identification

In our early days, our investigative technologies were fairly high-tech…for the time, that is. Like two-way and short-wave radios, still and motion picture cameras, radio monitoring stations, and mobile surveillance command posts (sometimes disguised as refrigerator trucks!).


Decades later, technology still figures prominently in our investigations. And the folks in our Operational Technology Division, located in rural Virginia, are charged with developing and deploying state-of-the-art investigative technological tools that support our intelligence and investigative priorities.

Marcus Thomas, Assistant Director of our Operational Technology Division, explains the role of his office this way: “You won’t hear about our work on the evening news because of its highly sensitive nature, but you will continue to hear about the fruits of our labor—the terrorist plot averted, the spy caught red-handed, the rescued kidnapping victim, the dismantled child pornography ring.”

We provide these technologies, and the training to use them properly, to FBI field personnel across all of our programs—counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal. We also use the technologies to assist our local, state, and federal partners.


Examiners enhancing a video

Much of the work of our Operational Technology Division is extremely sensitive, but here are a few general examples of our capabilities:

  • Court-authorized electronic surveillance. One of the most tried-and-true methods of catching criminals and terrorists is lawfully intercepting their conversations to learn of their plans. Our electronic surveillance experts excel at constructing and deploying microphones, body recorders, and transmitters, as well as intercepting the content of phone calls, e-mails, audio and video streams, instant messaging, and the like.
  • Physical surveillance. In addition to listening to their conversations, we also want to see where the subjects of our investigations go and who they’re meeting with. Our experts design and build concealment devices that help us track these individuals (somewhat along the lines of the proverbial pen or briefcase with a hidden camera, but much more advanced these days!).
  • Collection and analysis of digital evidence. Crooks use computers and other electronic devices like the rest of us, so there’s often a wealth of incriminating evidence stored on these devices that we’ve become adept at recovering and analyzing. Our Computer Analysis and Response Team provides expert forensics assistance to field investigators, while FBI-sponsored Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories around the country provide full-service support to our state and local partners.
  • Tactical operations. Our criminal and national security investigations sometimes require court-authorized surreptitious entries and searches to obtain evidence. Our specialists not only develop the tools, systems, and equipment used during these operations, they also sometimes deploy as part of the “covert entry teams.”
  • Tactical communications. During operations, law enforcement personnel have to communicate with one another, so we have experts who design, implement, and provide logistics support for secure FBI radio systems around the world. And since we don’t work in a vacuum, these-?experts-?also make sure our communications systems work with those operated by our local, state, and federal partners.

Because technological advances continue at warp-speed and terrorists and criminals make use of these advances, Assistant Director Thomas assures us that “the Operational Technology Division’s highly-skilled personnel are working every day to ensure that the FBI and its partners maintain-?their technological edge.”

To learn more about the work of our Operational Technology Division, visit its new website.


FERRIER International thanks FBI for this article and trusts you found it interesting.


JOINING FORCES – To Protect Cyberspace

To Protect Cyberspace

National cyber security awareness month seal.

Last week, our new top cyber exec Shawn Henry shared his analysis of the cyber threat with reporters—how it’s growing in sophistication, from two dozen nations taking an “aggressive interest” in stealing our secrets to new virtual gangs pooling their talents to launch coordinated attacks and crimes.

He also spoke of the partnerships that are emerging—often globally—to turn back the rising tide of cyber crime. One of our partners is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has declared October its fifth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month to help “educate the public on the shared responsibility of protecting cyberspace.”


A shared responsibility, indeed. And not just between the FBI and DHS and our many other government and law enforcement partners. But also with you…as one of the billions on the planet who’ve made cyberspace as a regular part of your life.

You can make a difference—and help protect your own systems at home and at the office—by taking these basic steps:-?

  • Change your security passwords regularly, have a firewall in place on your computer, get the latest anti-virus software, and install current security patches for your computer’s operating system;
  • Sign-up to receive e-mails with technical cyber security alerts, bulletins, tips from the DHS-run National Cyber Alert System;
  • Sign up here to receive e-mails from the FBI on the latest e-scams and test your cyber fraud awareness to gain some valuable tips;
  • Read our advice on keeping your children safe from “travelers”-?and from potential predators on social networking sites;
  • If you’re in the cyber security field or an interested citizen, join your local InfraGard chapter to meet and share information with area business professionals, academics, and government experts; and
  • Visit the website of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to get and share breaking information on cyber security and to learn more about securing your piece of cyberspace, whether you’re an individual, business, or government agency.

Also, take time to visit the FBI’s cyber webpage to learn more about how our cyber action teams, computer crimes task forces, Innocent Images program, and Internet Crime Complaint Center are playing vital roles in protecting cyberspace.

And visit the Department of Homeland Security’s webpage to find out more about its cyber operations—including the work of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications; the National Cyber Security Center; the Secret Service’s Electronic Crimes Task Forces; and the Cyber Crime Center of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Through it all, our advice is simple: be crime smart when it comes to the Internet, this month and in the future.

Protect Your Workplace materials with practical cyber security guidance
Common Internet Frauds
Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety
Internet Crime Complaint Center
U.S. Department of Justice Cyber Crime & Intellectual Property Section
U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team
Project Safe Childhood Initiative
The Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline
More “Be Crime Smart” protections

FERRIER International thanks the FBI for sharing this information with us.-? We trust by sharing this information with you, you will also assist in protecting Cyberspace.