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FBI Agents Don't Have Email Access

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the lazy-it dept.

308

the_bikeman writes "According to CNN, many FBI agents do not have access to an email account, and only 100 of the 2000 New York FBI agents have a Internet-ready mobile phone. Spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan said 'e-mail addresses are still being assigned, adding that the city bureau's 2,000 employees would all have accounts by the end of the year.'"

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How convenient! (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963440)

I have 4 Gmail accounts with 500 invitations left each! How many Get Out Of Jail Free cards can I buy?

Re:How convenient! (4, Funny)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963455)

Or they could get "Gmail for your domain" :-)

I wonder what kind of ads they would get?

Re:How convenient! (5, Funny)

DerGeist (956018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963657)

Looking for TOP SECRET: Operation: Deadbolt? Find it on eBay!

Can't find Narcotics smuggler Alberto Ramirez? Use AskJeeves.com!

Make your own heroin, cocaine and ecstasy using our Home ChemLab 2.0!

...just imagine them investigating a pedo case.

Re:How convenient! (5, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963583)

nah, you need Gman account !

And if they forgot their password (5, Funny)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963672)

And if they forgot their password to the account they could just get the Justice Department to subpoena their emails for them...

Re:How convenient! (2, Funny)

magores (208594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963709)

FBI + No Email = Lot's of spam for people

FBI + Email = Finally some real results against spam?

----

Re:How convenient! (1)

o0o0steve (872041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963781)

I could be way off, but I dont think it would be super intelligent for the FBI to "shoot a quick email" over gmail given the security implications :)

It's ALL Vanity (3, Funny)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963442)

Agent.Mulder@gmail.com just doesn't have the bragging rights.

Re:It's ALL Vanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963481)


Funny PORN Video Clips [laughdaily.com] from Laugh DAILY


Man, you are sooooooooo sick (but otoh I could to miracles with that flexible blond =o)

Re:It's ALL Vanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963526)

Since when did Fox Mulder need an e-mail account?! People can kick plenty of ass without e-mail. Think how different X-Files would have been if Mulder spent all of his time wading through penis enlargement ads, it would've given rise to a much different conspiracy theory!

It's Clear (4, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963443)

It's clear that the greatest protection our civil rights have is abject incompetence.

-Peter

Re:It's Clear (5, Funny)

Aspirator (862748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963490)

I'll bet most of us would like an employer who told us
by the end of the year
to get 2000 email accounts set up.

Re:It's Clear (2, Insightful)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963570)

"I set up 40 email accounts this week, that's one per hour, we're right on schedule for the rest of the year!" I can see the glowing progress reports now....

Re:It's Clear (1)

caseydk (203763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963604)

Obviously you've worked for the government too...

Not Government... (1)

DarthStrydre (685032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963758)

The GP was obviously talking about Lotus Notes/Domino. Remote management and replication, ugh! Yes it's scriptable, but still frelling slow to replicate a dummy user, give certificates, set up locations, etc.

alwyas true ... (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963494)

The limit on growth of a bureaucracy is the competence of it's denizens. Money is no limit -- it is raised by taxes and squabbled over. The least competant (by internal stds) lose. Popularity is no limit.

The EU, and to a decreasing extent, the UK, .au and .ca have larger bureaucracies than the US because government employment has higher social status so it attracts more talented individuals.

Do you really want a more competant government? You will just get more of it, until it expands to it's limit of competence.

Re:It's Clear (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963631)

If that were true then people who think GW is incompetent would feel safe indeed.

I, for a first post... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963445)

Would welcome my anonymous, unable to communicate federal enforcement overlords....

If only I knew how to communicate with them!

Welcome, to the 20-th century, FBI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963447)

Now you just have to learn to type... and to think.

Re:Welcome, to the 20-th century, FBI. (1)

The_REAL_DZA (731082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963756)

You've never gotten much e-mail, have you?

Neither is involved in 99% of the messages flying around the 'net.


Heck, even Nigerian princes don't bother to type and think in their e-mails!

pre-9/11 (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963451)

"FBI agents not having e-mail or Internet access is much too much a pre-9/11 mentality."

Funny, I thought it was a pre-1995 mentality.

Re:pre-9/11 (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963601)

You know... you crack a joke, but I have to deal with this seriously way too often.

Recently our boss decided that any account that we have on our web applications needed a mode of contact. Something consistant for everyone. We debated a little, but the obvious solution was to simply require an email address, which in turn becomes their username. I mean it's 2006... who DOESN'T have an email address.

A week later, we get an excited new client. It is my job to set up the handful of user accounts for our webapps... and I simply boggled at the first guys response when I asked for his email address:

"3657 Washington Roa..."
"No, your Email address."
"3657 Wash..."
"EEEEEEEEEEEE Mail address!"
"What do you mean?"
"What do you mean what do I mean? What is your email address?"
"I don't know what that is"

He DOESNT KNOW WHAT THAT IS!!! That's like saying you don't know what a road is. Someone please explain to me how and why such people still exist? Keep in mind, these people are going to CONSTANTLY use a WEB application, yet ... no... idea... of... what... an... email... is.

*boggle*

Re:pre-9/11 (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963641)

Oh, I feel for you. Just over the weekend I received an email from a user of an online peer-review system I maintain. It seems she managed to put together her 12 page review and print it out, but somewhere in the process of cutting/pasting her comments into the text fields, she deleted her document. (Don't ask how. I tried asking and got some nonsense about how pasting text caused the file to disappear.) So now her review is being mailed to me. Thankfully, scanning and OCRing it is nothing...

Re:pre-9/11 (2, Informative)

birder (61402) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963703)

Easy, she cut (ctrl-x) the portions out of the document, piece by piece, and pasted them (ctrl-v) into the fields. Then she saved the empty file when done. Probably exited the application and clicked 'Yes' when it asked to save her document because as you know, everyone clicks 'Yes' when a popup appears. No thinking involved.

Re:pre-9/11 (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963777)

Probably what happened, true. But she also failed to click the 'submit' button on the web form, so that information was never transmitted or saved. I'm amazed she managed to print out a copy, though.

"But can't I fax it to you?" (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963768)

I work in 2006, among people who supposedly have college degrees. And yet I wish had a nickel for every time I've sent someone a 100+ page document via email, only to have them *FAX* me back changes.

-Eric

Re:pre-9/11 (1, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963639)

"FBI agents not having e-mail or Internet access is much too much a pre-9/11 mentality."

Thank GOD for 9/11, otherwise the Bush Administration would be totally without a cause and ineffective...err wait a minute....Never mind.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963459)

Does this mean that FBI agents are so strictly trained they don't even have the ability to think on their own, perhaps even 'outside the box', and get one for themselves?

Indeed why should it cost extra money to assign e-mail addresses? For 2000 people?

Ridiculous.

Re:What? (1)

tka (548076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963482)

> Indeed why should it cost extra money to assign e-mail addresses? For 2000 people?

It might because then you'd have to provide computers so that agents could use'em to rea... Oh wait, you'd first have to teach'em to read - education costs.

Re:What? (1, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963555)

They don't need their own e-mail addresses. They can just use yours!

=Smidge=

No email is fine by me... (5, Funny)

Jargon Scott (258797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963466)

I prefer my FBI agents to be out attempting to protect me, not forwarding something to their 10 closest friends so Jesus will bless the kittens that day.

Re:No email is fine by me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963516)

Since "protecting" you under this administration pretty much means fucking you in the asshole, maybe you should be thankful.

Re:No email is fine by me... (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963527)

By that rationale you don't want them to have access to phones either, in case they spend all their day talking sports with their friends, or traditional mail, in case they waste their time corresponding with a pen pal in Australia...

Re:No email is fine by me... (2, Interesting)

Jargon Scott (258797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963669)

Please, you can't still believe that email is a productive form of communication? For every benefit that email (and the internet in general) used to bring, there is 5x the baggage of problems.

I like to think that FBI agents are busy in some sense their entire shift. I don't want to think of them wasting time as much as any of us are right now, and I'm home sick. Please don't bust my bubble of comfortable misconception.

I was employed to monitor the web and email traffic at a medium sized bank (~3400 employees) for 3 years, and I can tell you that people spend way too much time playing. It made me extremely jaded towards the "access to information is the key" mentality.

on the plus side (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963468)

all FBI agents are certified in morse code and at least half of them have some training in semaphore

and the next highest placing class out of quantico will be introduced to the fancy new 'telephone' that is rumored that a guy name alexander graham bell has perfected

Where did all the money go? (4, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963469)

"We just don't have the money, and that is an endless stream of complaints that come from the field," he said.

So let me get this straight, $9 billion goes missing in Iraq, the war has cost US taxpayers about $250 billion so far, oil companies have record profit$, our national debt ceiling was raised to $9 trillion and we can't afford to supply email to the FBI?
What is going on? And, does anyone even care?

I have an idea... (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963488)

Let's all give them GMail invites. Oh wait, I guess that wouldn't be good for top secret clearance data. Oh well...

Re:Where did all the money go? (1, Troll)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963491)

Seriously. It's almost enough to make you think the guys running this country are corrupt or something...

Re:Where did all the money go? (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963493)

What is going on?

Large scale graft.

And, does anyone even care?

No.

Re:Where did all the money go? (1)

imikem (767509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963637)

Well, the people in receipt of the graft proceeds care. In fact, I suppose they're* downright pleased with themselves and their* circumstances.

* Today's pedantry lesson is the use of "they're" and "their" correctly in the same sentence. Thank you, thank you.

Re:Where did all the money go? (0, Troll)

Slashdot Junky (265039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963597)

What actually is happening isn't what we're ever told on this scale. I'll tell why we invaded Iraq, and it's not for the people living there. It never was. It was never for WMD. We invade to take control of the oil. Additional reason could also be as payback for a schoolyard argument between Saddam and another kid, I mean world power holder, loyal to the Daddy Bush Camp. Perhaps this person is actually in the Bush Camp. The payback and taking control of the oil is, perhaps, one in the same.

We're still in Iraq, because we're stuck. We'll be there in some capacity for a long time unless of course WWIII hits the theatres starring the "US Foreign Policy" and "The Rest of World that's finally had enough of US Foreign Policy".

Later,
-Slashdot Junky

Re:Where did all the money go? (1)

Philosinfinity (726949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963659)

I think you're taking the quote a bit out of context, and even if you aren't I do not see that your argument is necessarily true. Let me provide a counterexample to show you what I am thinking.

The FBI has a budget of x dollars. In that budget, they have to determine necessary expenses for all of their operations for the year. Which would do more to protect and help us as a country: email for all the employees or the ability to hire 2 extra people in the field? Couple that with exactly what you quoted. The FBI has an endless wishlist of things that they would like to have that would help them with their jobs and a limited budget to work within. Which ones get funded and which ones do not?

Personally, I am glad they don't have carte blanch on whatever they want. When departments and agencies can spend whatever they want, you find things like more expensive furniture and other forms of frivilous spending. I believe that the FBI has determined (right or wrong) that their money can be spent in other ways that will better serve their department's functionality. The war in Iraq and oil company profitts are just a red herring.

Re:Where did all the money go? (4, Interesting)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963685)

Given that gigs and gigs of GMail are available to end-users for free, and HTTPS-secured web-mail is available to end-users for free as well, how expensive can it be for the FBI to set up email addresses? Answer: email is nearly free. It's not really a cost issue, it's a management or incompetence issue.

Re:Where did all the money go? (3, Informative)

RedneckTek (120165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963734)

You are not seriously naive enough to believe that technology is free are you?

Behind every tech, whether free or not, is a cost. In the case of the FBI, I personally can see an email service necessitating many additional costs, such as: IT personnel to manage the service, hardware to run the service, AND (a biggie) securing the service from inside and outside. That's not even taking into account encryption setup and maintenence that you can bet they are going demand before even considering such a service.

If you think you can just setup an Exim server, you're dead wrong.

Re:Where did all the money go? (1)

Philosinfinity (726949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963757)

I think you need to have a talk with out IT Director and Exchange Administrator. Maybe you could solver the discrepency of "We don't have enough money in our budget for a faster server with more storage for our emails."

Re:Where did all the money go? (2, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963702)

Which would do more to protect and help us as a country: email for all the employees or the ability to hire 2 extra people in the field? Couple that with exactly what you quoted.

First of all, I would think that e-mail was a NECESSARY tool for anyone working today. Rapid communication is going to help protect this country by getting the information to the agents in the field. 2 extra people is not going to help if they can't even coordinate their communications properly. If you are trying to say they don't need email, just what exactly are they going to use to communicate? Carrier pigeons? Slashdot forums?

Re:Where did all the money go? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963683)

What is going on? And, does anyone even care?

No, they don't. People are going to look at this and say "I have e-mail, why don't they?" and then they are going to think about it for about 2.2 seconds until the teaser for American Idol, The Apprentice, or Survivor come on and they forget all about it.

Re:Where did all the money go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963771)

Sure someone cares. In fact, would anyone be surprised if VP Cheney's old firm doesn't get a no-bid contract of a billion dollars to subcontract it out to an Iranian firm...

Oh greeat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963485)

I've heard of communications blackouts...

But this is ridiculous!

Wrong spelling! (1, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963502)

Isn't it obvious? They're G-men, they need G-mail.

This makes sense actually (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963509)

In a world where secrecy is necessary, what you whisper goes unrecorded, but what you put in an email gets published just when you need it to never have been written down....

With record keeping comes accountability... is it any wonder they don't write things down? Until rather recently, there was no satisfactory manner to keep such communications to mobile devices secure/encrypted. If anyone knows if the govmint is spying on people, the FBI should. Makes you wonder..... ????

use the cone of silence (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963646)

That's why I use the "cone of silence"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_of_silence [wikipedia.org]

Re:use the cone of silence (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963750)

What's that chief? I couldn't hear you.

RTFA. We're talking about law enforcement. (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963510)

All of the bureau's employees have secure mail accounts for use within that organization. Publicly available accounts, and accounts from which bureau employees can send mail to the public are indeed more complex (think about the tracking they'd require), and would require a lot more than typical corporate non-training when it comes to what they can or should do with that type of communication.

One mis-step in a CC or Reply-All and you could completely torpedo an investigation or a trial. Just look at what one lackluster prosecutor did with some ill-conceived e-mail sent to prospective witnesses during the ongoing 9/11 trial happening right now. This subject is a lot more complicated than meets the eye.

Re:RTFA. We're talking about law enforcement. (2, Insightful)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963624)

I don't know if intentionally exposing them to forbidden court material is "ill-conceived". It's kind of hard to accidentally send transcripts to witnesses... I'm sure she'll get to write a book about the trial.

Re:RTFA. We're talking about law enforcement. (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963718)

I don't know if intentionally exposing them to forbidden court material is "ill-conceived". It's kind of hard to accidentally send transcripts to witnesses... I'm sure she'll get to write a book about the trial.

Of course it wasn't an accident in the "oops, I forwarded this to the wrong addresses" sense. It was poor judgement. But the technology that made it so easy for her to do it was: internet enabled e-mail. My point is that the "cost" of turning on publicly-transcieving e-mail accounts for investigators and other people with legally critical jobs involve more than some server admin mouseclicks and a little more storage... there's substantial training and oversight involved.

Re:RTFA. We're talking about law enforcement. (3, Insightful)

a2800276 (50374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963749)

It's just as easy to accidentally stuff crap into the wrong envelope and accidentally put the wrong address on it. Is it too much to expect that people think about what they're doing? Maybe people that stupid shouldn't be in such "critical" positions.

THESE are the people we worry about spying on us (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963640)

You know, I would be a lot more worried about all these domestic spying scandals if I thought for a second that any of these agencies had the COMPETENCE to spy on their own asses with mirrors and flashlights.

-Eric

Re:THESE are the people we worry about spying on u (0)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963730)

I'm still worried. Incompetence in spying doesn't seem to stop them from grabbing a person who's innocent, and throwing them in a cell for 3 years, with no trial, then decide he's not guilty of anything, and releasing him (or not).

...what? (1)

O'Laochdha (962474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963514)

How much money does it really save to withold e-mail accounts? I can't imagine it would be much. Either way, though, using government e-mail accounts for non-government purposes sounds like a security risk.

Internal communications == borked (1)

Ghost-in-the-shell (103736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963519)

Seriously though how does this organization function for internal communications?
Maybe it is my over Hollywood hyped vision of what the FBI does, but how do agents in different geographical office locations communicate or send/get information. Sure there is the phone, and internal mail but wouldent email be a little more effective..

It seems the FBI is lagging behind... a shame really, they should be able to leverage this technology to their advantage.

Alias and 24? (1)

QuasiDon (215923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963525)

I guess they haven't been watching Alias and 24. Don't they know how important the latest technological comunication tools are for catching the bad guy?

Email, problem. Cell phones, not a problem. (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963530)

and only 100 of the 2000 New York FBI agents have a Internet-ready mobile phone.

So? I make my living as a geek, and don't have an internet-ready cell phone.

Why would I pay more, for a service redundant with something I already have, yet with a far lower quality presentation?

When I want to do something online, I'll use a PC. When I want to call someone, I'll use my cell phone. They each serve entirely separate purposes, and as long as my eyes work better scanning large surfaces than a 1.5 inch square, they will continue serving different purposes.

Re:Email, problem. Cell phones, not a problem. (1, Offtopic)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963650)

Repeat after me, the Web is not the Internet

Re:Email, problem. Cell phones, not a problem. (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963733)

Repeat after me, the Web is not the Internet

No kidding... Your point?

I also don't want to read email (which increasingly includes web-like formatting), chat on IRC, or read UseNET on a 1.5 inch screen; And my phone doesn't make the best destination for downloading files via FTP or any P2P; And it takes far too long to enter alphanumeric data to make anything even remotely interactive (ie, ssh) useful on a cellphone.

I suppose getting an RSS feed might prove vaguely useful, but not nearly enough to justify the increased expense - And y'know, with a government that can't seem to spend our tax dollars fast enough, I can't say it really bothers me that the FBI hasn't caught on to yet another way to waste our money.

So, repeat after me - Contextually useless distinctions don't require enumeration.

O/T (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963674)

and as long as my eyes work better scanning large surfaces than a 1.5 inch square, they will continue serving different purposes.

You, my friend, need smaller eyes.

Re:Email, problem. Cell phones, not a problem. (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963692)

The more you try continuity of service, the more diverse the applications you consider bringing to bear.
I've got a browser on my mobile phone, simply because I may need to pick up mail when I'm way away from any PC. Using a PDA with ssh on it simply lets me use a text terminal when I need interactive shells on the servers, in case the rest of the kit is unavailable (or I'm miles away from anywhere, and unexpectedly need to work via shell).

Yes, they may be redundant, but when your main access channels are down, or unavailable, you learn to love your redundant but always present channels.

Doy doy da doy? (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963533)

Just what the FBI needs! Cleartext transmissions transmitted wirelessly over the public cloud! (insert GPG fanboy banter below)

Boo Hoo (3, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963535)

Boo Hoo, our exchange licenses costs to much. Us poor folks at the FBI could not possibly just load up a linux box and postfix. I love the comment that the one senator made about this, our agents need better access to technology.

Clue: It is right under your nose, use it!

Jack Bauer? (1, Funny)

timdorr (213400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963540)

I dunno about this, because Jack Bauer definitely has a nice PDA. It apparently can hack into computers, control terrorist remote bombs, and self destruct the memory card. These sort of things should be standard issue!

Which one? (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963616)

Which PDA/Phone are you talking about? He has a different brand/model every week!

Internet phones? Why? (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963548)

only 100 of the 2000 New York FBI agents have a Internet-ready mobile phone.
Because perish the thought that the FBI won't be able to access the football results and low resolution porn.

A Wish for the New Year (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963654)

Considering how little experience it seems that these people have with tech, may they send all their personal money to Nigerian scammers.

Then it's no wonder.. (1)

oZt (689520) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963554)

...They're reading other peoples' mail!

Incompetent Insensitive Anonymous Cowards (1)

mod-e-rate (866633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963556)

Now i know where all those "Anonymous Coward" posts are coming from!

GOOD!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963562)

So instead of wasting their time sorting spam and forwarding the joke of the day they can be out pounding the pavement with their flat feet, doing their jobs enforcing the laws and apprehending criminals. It sounds good to me.

I don;t particularly care for the thought of paying civil servants tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to play on the computer.

Oh, for those that whine; 'Well, they have to enforce the cyber laws too.' I say bullshit! There are far more real world robberies and rapes than there are online ones. Terrorists didn't 'virtually' blow up the twin towers. It happened in the real world. What you twats call meat space.

Errr.....and? (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963564)

Does it even matter? No, that should have been: it doesn't matter.

Why do they need accounts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963565)

Why does the FBI need email accounts when they spend all day reading every other citzen's mail? Since they are in my account anyway, the least they could do is delete some of the spam from it.

How much does it cost for an email account? (1)

rascanban (732991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963571)

Considering the relatively super-cheap cost of disk drives, how much does it cost for an email account? If you already have the server, isn't it just a matter of labor (time) to add email accounts? Damn, I know people with $30/month VPS servers with 1000's of email accounts. However, if you work in an organization that spends $500 for a toilet seat [hydeparkassociates.com] , maybe my budget estimate is mis-aligned.

I'll do it. (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963572)

Let's see 2K email accounts ....
Ahhh, I have a 700mhz linux box collecting dust under my desk...
$400 for scsi raid
$300 for tape backup

OK for $1.8mil I can cover NY.

Re:I'll do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963617)

$300 for tape backup

Where can I get one of these. Last I checked, DAT72 drives were $900 and LOT-2 200/400 drives started at $2,000!

Years ago nobody had email (1)

btrain (235160) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963588)

Just because you could have the technology doesn't mean you need it. I don't want every FBI agent sifting through the dumb jokes colleagues send and countless viagra spam messages every five minutes. Go out and do some investigating. They don't need their own email they can read ours.

WTF! Story from 1995 or something? (2, Interesting)

GingerDog (907579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963596)

This slashdot headline makes it sound like we're back in 1995.


Christine Monaco, a spokeswoman for the FBI in New York, said Monday that all FBI agents can communicate with each other via a secure internal e-mail system, and about 75 percent of the New York office's employees have outside e-mail accounts.

"The outside e-mail accounts have to be separately funded," she said.


Sounds like a nasty mixture of bureaucracy and inefficiency to me. Is there a difference between employees and agents? (do cleaners need email accounts?)

I wonder what their 'secure internal e-mail system' is?

Re:WTF! Story from 1995 or something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963671)

The difference between employees and agents is alot simpler than you would think.

Agents carry guns and arrest the bad guys.

Employees provide non-law enforcement support (i.e. IT, HR, Filing, Moving desks, pretty much everything that does not require a gun).


More can be found on www.fbijobs.gov.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963602)

They still have access to your email though.

Wow... (0, Troll)

vtechstu (962598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963606)

I havn't had a chance to read all the comments, but from what I can tell, most of you have no idea what you're saying. The agents all have person email accounts, what they don't have is .gov email accounts. It cost money to have extra email accounts with ISP's, why would it be any different for the government?

Obligatory Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963613)

Somehow I feel that rather than give the agents email accounts, the gov't will claim that we instead have to reduce civil rights even more.

Make you wonder (-1, Troll)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963621)

How much sensitive information is sitting in Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail accounts for agents.

You KNOW these agents are like noI havent got and account sent it to BigStudFbiGuy99@yahoo.com while he squirms and blushes....

Phishing for Feds (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963649)

I wonder if this is really that good a thing. I would bet that some people would love to get their hands of the login info of an FBI agent -- it would provide access to data for some serious ID theft, terrorism, fraud, organized crime, etc. All it would take is one agent succumbing to a bit of social engineering.

The problem with the FBI using public protocols on public networks is that it opens non-public data to some serious technological and human security holes.

Stuff like this makes me realize... (5, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963653)

how right my parents were about the FBI when I was a kid. My dad was very high up within Customs and my mom was a GSA IG agent, and all of their friends I knew growing up worked for other federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the DEA. The one thing that all of them had in common was a disdain, bordering on hatred, for the FBI's management. See, the FBI doesn't have its own charter and can expand into whatever it wants, which naturally causes turf wars with other agencies. Customs and the DEA are the two main anti-drug agencies, especially Customs which is the agency responsible for keeping them out of our country on the borders. The FBI would routinely come in and try to to take cases away to build up publicity and then royally fuck up the case, and when you're dealing with wealthy criminals, usually that leads to no conviction, even if there is no technicality, because the lawyers are that good at ripping the FBI a new asshole.

The FBI screwed up on 9-11 because it wants to be the American KGB. It wants to be THE main federal agency and has been jockeying for a foreign intelligence **field work** role. Hello people, that naturally conflicts with the CIA's exclusive jurisdiction there. Didn't stop the FBI's management from refusing to work with the CIA since the CIA has legal jurisdiction over all foreign operations. The FBI has also had problems with management blowing off field agents. The management simply has to go. A top down attack on the FBI management, decentralizing power and putting the bulk of it back into the hands of the lower-level management and field agents is the only solution. From the stories I have heard from the people I know in law enforcement at all levels, the FBI is dominated by middle management hell. The field agents, and the press is quick to point this out with the agents who warned about terrorism but were told to go fuck off by FBI management, and the IT people alike are hamstrung by management that cares more about image than doing its job.

Most importantly, give the agency a clear charter and jurisdiction once and for all. Take terrorism out of most of it too. Let the CIA and NSA deal with terrorists. They don't have the time, the jurisdiction or quite frankly any interest in what non-national security things the people are doing. If there is ever a crackdown on dissent, it'll be done by FBI agents with KGB-level powers, not CIA special ops who tracked down a Jose Padilla and discretely shot him dead like a dog in the streets of NYC.

Government Needs an IT Department (0)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963658)

Seems to me there needs to be one central IT department for the US Government. Right now it seems like every agency that needs IT services at this point have to create their own IT department, which has got to be inefficient and probably reduces the buying power of any individual agency. Put 'em all in the same room, standardize the technology you're using and train all the employees so they know how to handle classified data. A unified IT department would surely be less expensive and would be able to standardize on thet right set of tools for the jobs at hand.

FBI Locked out of their 0w3n box3s (1)

KidWicked (961269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963666)

Thats some funny stuff. Is this for real?

Would it be just like the movies? (3, Funny)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963677)

If they did get email addresses, would it be just like the way email is in the movies, where the font is 24-point white or yellow lettering that scrolls in real-time across a black background that takes up the entire screen?

Maybe they're not so dumb... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963679)

Perhaps the agents without email accounts are the same agents that are running the Carnivore operation that, in effect, sifts through everbody's email? If they know that anybody that might want to send an email might be a terrorist, then they certainly don't want to have an email account...!

Are they engraving requests on stone tablets? (1)

Glasswire (302197) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963697)

...Or what? Spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan said 'e-mail addresses are still being assigned, adding that the city bureau's 2,000 employees would all have accounts by the end of the year.
Big ISPs add this many email users in a few hours -and they don't have the advantage of importing from an existing HR system with people details. (I guess the FBI doesn't either)
FBI's IT is, once again, proven to be shockingly primitive. Maybe instead of spending $2 Trillion on Iraq (which is creating a terrorist breeding ground that wasn't there before), we should spend a few million to bring the main US domestic police force against terrorism into this century.

Misconfiguration? (1)

Durzel (137902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963746)

They probably have got email accounts set up for them, they just don't know how to use them. It's no wonder when they keep typing in things like "Job@3:14" to contact people.

FRIST STOP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963755)

all al8ong. *BSD

Hushmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963760)

Not only is it a free account, but encrypted too!

Not to defend Gov't stuff... (3, Interesting)

ursabear (818651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963767)

The CIA, FBI, and any other governmental agency should have efficient, extremely-monitored, very safe email and email systems. It is very important that modern communications are fostered and maintained in governmental activities.

I know from personal experience that government-funded/government-used technical systems are generally either:
1)Ultra-over-engineered to be sure that the system/thing is ultra-safe or ultra-reliable or ultra-accountable
2)Woefully inadequate because the person(s) in the bureaucracy don't have the tech expertise to foster the effort correctly - and yet place massive, uninformed, and inappropriate amounts of pressure on the worker bees to get the job done as per the way the non-tech person thinks it needs to go.
3)Many projects die on the vine because mis-direction (and management that honestly doesn't have the knowledge they need to lead the effort) makes the project wander in the desert for huge periods of time.
4)I could go on...

But in all fairness, governmental technical efforts have many different and sometimes unique pressures on them. The government literally has to have permission from someone to do anything with public systems. The public (rightfully) wants as much transparency and accountability as possible in governmental efforts - which means everything is debated, re-documented, justified, cleared, reviewed, managed, re-managed, scrutinized, over-then-under-funded, micro-managed, and finally finger-pointed-to-somebody-else'd when the project doesn't go right.

Our government cannot (or doesn't know how to) operate as smaller, more agile private businesses work. The pressure and accountability of every move has created a monster of over-administered and over-micro-managed web of forms, functions, procedures, and other things...

What's the solution? Frankly, I don't know. I want my government to be accountable, and I want the government to be "of the people, by the people", but I also want it to be intelligent, well-led, and a great deal less dysfunctional. If only governmental technical tasks could be more agile...

Access (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963775)

>> many FBI agents do not have access to an email account

Not true, not true. They have access to many email accounts, they just don't have accounts of their own.
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