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The FBI's IT Expansion Plans 153

Lam1969 writes "The FBI is fast-tracking the hiring of IT professionals, reports Computerworld. Computer scientists, engineers, IT specialists and IT project managers are wanted to develop systems to support FBI analysts and agents working in the field. Large-scale database development projects are part of the FBI's IT expansion as well. From the article: "The FBI is also focusing on data warehousing as well as federated search technology, which allows a single search query to be deployed across a number of databases, regardless of whether those databases belong to the same protocol or platform.""
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The FBI's IT Expansion Plans

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  • Real ID act (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Thursday December 29, 2005 @04:37PM (#14360765) Homepage Journal
    This is likely to implement the Real ID act which essentially amounts to a federally unfunded mandated ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account or participate in almost any way with any federal institution or service.

    The thing about this ID card is what kind of information will be encoded in it. At a very minimum, name, DOB, sex, ID number, image and address, but also additional information that will likely be included are biometrics with some folks even proposing genetic sequences. However, a major problem with these cards is the inclusion of machine readable technologies included in them that has the very real possibility of making ID theft easier. Additionally, the RealID act requires people to have a physical address. i.e. NO post office boxes unless you are a judge or government agent.

    • Sounds like a driver's license, minus the biometrics.
      • Re:Real ID act (Score:4, Insightful)

        by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Thursday December 29, 2005 @04:54PM (#14360866) Homepage Journal
        Sounds like a driver's license, minus the biometrics.

        Hardly. This is so much more in that it will access a common database that is available everywhere in the nation to any law enforcement official that requests your information or ID and additionally makes that information available to private security companies and other companies that contract with the federal government. There are also a number of other problems associated with this legislation in that it was attached to an appropriations bill and has gone through very little oversight. Lots of folks actually have no idea of what is actually contained in this legislation or who was involved in its creation.

        At the very minimum, there is now the possibility of the federal government tracking the movement and ID of any US citizen at any time and preempts judicial involvement in the process.

        • Re:Real ID act (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Threni ( 635302 )
          > At the very minimum, there is now the possibility of the federal government
          > tracking the movement and ID of any US citizen at any time and preempts judicial
          > involvement in the process.

          One way of avoiding all this online infringement would be for offline communication. Sort of like how Bin Laden has managed to evade detection for so long. I wonder how long it'll be before communicating offline will be considered suspicious. Already using cash is - in the UK it's been suggested that people carry
        • This is so much more in that it will access a common database
          Think about this for a minute. You are telling me that whatever agency gets to build the thing will share all with any agency that comes calling? Simple human nature tells me it won't happen. (much less the whole thing working great in my lifetime)

          that is available everywhere in the nation to any law enforcement official that requests your information
          See my comment above, plus, I don't see a federal agency sharing freely with a state or local
        • Right now ANY Law Enforcement agency can check your license for warrants anywhere in the USA. They just radio back to base, the officer there logs in to the system of the State you are from and checks for warrants, or they make a phone call to that State. This is nothing new.

          I know for a FACT the FBI isn't going to share data with anyone else unless they get ordered to by Congress/President and then it will be only for a specific person(s) such as a suspected terrorist.

          I also know by the time this t
    • What about the homeless?
    • It's called a "Passport" and I use it in just about every circumstance that calls for more than one form of ID, since for ID purposes, it counts for three (Birth Cert+Social Security Card+Drivers License). It has name, dob, sex, id number, image, address (also required to be physical and verified, i.e. on your utility bill etc.), is machine readable and is certain to have biometrics included as well within the year. Sure, you aren't _required_ to have one, but, eh, I don't see how having one authoritative I
      • Much of that information is NOT exchange between agencies, hell in some cases it's illegal to to exchange it between bureaus!

        The problem with neding a real physical address is: How does it impact homeless people? will the not be able to do anything that requires ID?
        • ...not speaking to the caveats of certain pieces of information, just to the paranoia that a government that already possesses said information in numerous forms will somehow become all-powerful and far more evil by printing it on plastic. Meh.
      • It's called a "Passport" and I use it in just about every circumstance that calls for more than one form of ID, since for ID purposes, it counts for three (Birth Cert+Social Security Card+Drivers License).

        Well, it counts for birth cert, SS, and state ID, I wouldn't call it driver's license, since you aren't supposed to show it if you are actually pulled over while driving. But the issue here isn't that one ID already exists, but that it will be essentially required. It would be as if you were required t

      • Well, you not entirely wrong, just mostly.

        A passport does not "count for three" forms of ID. First, your birth certificate is not a form of ID, only proof of citizenship for the person named on the certificate. Your Social Security card is not a form of identification, only proof that the person named on the card has registered with the IRS and Social Security Administration. Your Passport is not a replacement for a driver's license, as you do not even need a driver's license to get a passport, and tr
        • I did not say as passport was a replacement for a driver's license, only that it is a more authoritative ID, e.g., when opening a bank account or establishing right to work wherein you may provide a combination of DL plus SS card, birth cert, whatever, or JUST your passport. I've had several passports over the last twenty or so years, but dang, teach, thanks for the info.

          Prat.
  • The FBI is also focusing on data warehousing as well as federated search technology

    Nothing to see here, please move along.

    Seriously though, I'm really kinda scared. But I'm more sad that it'll take a near miracle for some more oversight to be required in US intelligence agencies. The worst part is that by speaking out, you are probably being targeted.

  • by necro2607 ( 771790 ) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @04:42PM (#14360786)
    FBI is planning to recruit any/all Google staff. ;)
    • FBI is planning to recruit any/all Google staff. ;)

      Yeah, just what we need, a search engine for criminal activity.

      the fact that so much fraud happens on eBay on a daily basis is kinda reassuring that these people don't know thier arse from a hole in the ground

    • The working title at the moment is the Governmental Overall Omniscient General-purpose Lightning-fast Enquirer. (Anyone want to think of an E thats a real word?)
    • Eric Schmidt: "Just tell me it's not the FBI...It's the FBI, isn't it? *throws chair* Fucking Robert Mueller is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill the FBI."
  • According to the FBI site:

    "As a prerequisite for FBI employment, you must be a U.S. citizen and consent to a complete background investigation, drug test, and polygraph."

    I didn't see anything about giving up your first born though so thats good.

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
    • Well, duh... (Score:3, Informative)

      by RedNovember ( 887384 )
      It's a government agency, what did you expect? They just let you in without any screening whatsoever?

      The US government wants to make sure that, if you join their ranks, they know more about you than anybody else. IMO, a good thing.
      • The US government wants to make sure that, if you join their ranks, they know more about you than anybody else.

        That's for sure. When I joined the military there were a lot of questions asked about my background and all. And then there was amount iformation I had (and soon have to do again) to remember or find out and give them for my security clearance. And they followed up with references and friends and family.

        They definitely do their research to make sure that they know everything than can about your b

        • They definitely do their research to make sure that they know everything than can about your background before they trust you.
          ...yet they give you a polygraph test? Those things have a less rigorously-tested scientific background than Intelligent Design!

          • It's all psychological. The polygraph is there to make you want to be as honest and accurate on your application as humanly possible. People will be far less likely to try to conceal or omit things if they know that the accuracy of their application will be asked about during a polygraph. They don't really care all that much about the actual results - it's there as a sort of panopticon for the hiring process.
            • LOL..Fail a Lifestyle Polygraph and see if they (DOD) care. They will terminate your clearances so fast your head will spin. Even just a small "blip" that the examiner thinks is an indication of possible lack of full truthfullness and you'll understand what the Spanish Inquistition was like! Mind you, this test is NOT proven, is NOT admissible in court in ANY state, and is given by hacks with NO psychological training (i.e. machine operators). But it's been held up time and again as "sufficient" when those
        • In the military, they gave me top secret clearence accidently.
          They where supposed to be doing it for another person with my same name.
          Imagine my surprise when they showed up to ship me overseas.
          Unfortuantly I didn't ahe the training they needed, so they went through the procedure for the correct person, and gave me some very interesting work for 6 months.
          I could tell you, and I wouldn't have to kill you, but I would certianly go to jail!

          Well, it's been over 20 years, so no one probably cares about that info
          • I don't know about the US, but I held security clearance in the UK that allowed me to view anything bellow 'minister's eyes only,' for a while (it lapsed after I hadn't been actively working on anything classified for a year) and that was relatively easy to obtain (it took two months to process and three references, but not much else). I learned some quite interesting things about various forms of stealthing - to this day I laugh when I hear the F117 described as a 'Stealth Fighter'.
      • Re:Well, duh... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Yokaze ( 70883 )
        > They just let you in without any screening whatsoever?

        There is a difference between
        a) no screening whatsoever
        b) The US government wants to make sure that, if you join their ranks, they know more about you than anybody else

        You are going to work for the government, not rule it. Did senators have to pass drug-test or the polygraph?
        • Did senators have to pass drug-test or the polygraph?

          I think blatently lying while keeping a straight face on national television pretty much covers the polygraph...
    • And people wonder why there are so many openings?

      I fail at least 2 of them even though i live in the US, I'm not a citizen and there is no way I will give up smoking good herbs. I only drink once in a blue moon, but smoke weed on a regular basis, as i have done for the past 30 years or so. Much less problems with weed. As long as you stick to alcohol, FBI don't mind you beeing stupendously drunk each night, but smoking a joint while watching TV is bad. Go figure. And I will while smoking my devil head bon
    • "As a prerequisite for FBI employment, you must be a U.S. citizen and consent to a complete background investigation, drug test, and polygraph."

      I didn't see anything about giving up your first born though so thats good.

      Yeah, but for some of us collecting and maintaining all the 'background data' on us would require our own dedicated FBI agent. ;)

      So this is a solution, is it?

      "there it goes again, that's the third polygraph machine which has gone up in smoke."
      after i invented the game of baseball

    • Its no worse than the prereqs a classified or secret level job; except for the polygraph test.

      -everphilski-
    • Yeah...read the fine print from the F86 form:

      I Authorize any investigator, special agent, or other duly accredited representative of the authorized Federal agency conducting my background investigation, to obtain any information relating to my activities from individuals, schools, residential management agents, employers, criminal justice agencies, credit bureaus, consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, retail business establishments, or other sources of information. This information may include

      • you'll find that by signing the form, you're allowing the federal government to know everything just about you that there is to know about you

        Actually, I think the gist of the article was that they're planning on gathering all that data anyway whether you sign the form or not. Might as well get paid while they collect it.

    • I've heard that the FBI wasn't the most pleasant employer - all the security requirements could be pretty cumbersome. For example, they apparently aren't even allowed to have cell phones or USB keys at work. So if IT people are getting less desperate, it makes sense that the FBI would have a harder time filling positions.
      • No cell phones and no personally owned UBS thumbdrives or laptops is pretty much standard in any classified environment. It's not just the FBI. You can, however, use a government owned USB drive or laptop.

        I believe that the difficulty of joining the FBI has to do with their "lifestyle" background check. At least for FBI agents, you cannot ever have used illegal drugs. So one party in high school or college where you "inhaled", as President Clinton said, and you can't work for them. Many police force

        • I believe that the difficulty of joining the FBI has to do with their "lifestyle" background check. At least for FBI agents, you cannot ever have used illegal drugs.

          This is incorrect. As a matter of fact, the FBI application clearly asks particular questions about drug use, specifically because they recognize that not every suitable applicant never, ever smoked pot. I believe there are automatic disqualifiers for admitting to "hard" drug use, but that relies on you admitting to it voluntarily. Granted,

        • I should clarify that those are requirements for Special Agents. The requirements for support staff seem to be more lax.
    • WTF... 15 times?? I guess Bill Clinton smoked it 14 times - and that's the new standard?

  • they just realised (Score:2, Interesting)

    by know1 ( 854868 )
    how well the information gathered by google for advertising would benefit the fbi so decided that the one stop search all method is quite usefull. integrate all their electronic databases into a google search server that's not online with the main net, and you have a powerfull search appliance for government
    or something
  • Creepy (Score:1, Interesting)

    All I can say is... I am scared for the future generations on the world, for humanity, people just do not understand the power in their hands, or worse those who do understand the power but have no soul.

    The FBI is going to become too powerful real soon.

    • i'm not so worried about the FBI. there is plenty of oversight, checks and balances, internal affairs, etc.

      i'd be more worried about non-official organizations like blackwater or executive outcomes or similar organizations. (I'm sure I haven't even heard of the really bad ones... too secret perhaps). if one has to worry about such things. myself, i do not. there's been far worse threats to freedom and civilization than the FBI hiring a bunch of database administrators.

      but these private organizations ha

    • The overriding presumption is that they will use their tools effectively - which means, when it will provide them with information that is both necessary AND justified. I wonder sometimes if the massive technology push since 9/11 is nothing more than paper tiger, because what ultimately matters, is not only how the information is used, but how effectively it's used.

      Information is meaningless unless the infrastructure behind it is sound. If the organization using it is just as unfocused as the pre-9/11 gover
  • by theheff ( 894014 )
    "The FBI is also focusing on data warehousing as well as federated search technology, which allows a single search query to be deployed across a number of databases, regardless of whether those databases belong to the same protocol or platform.

    You mean google?

    • > You mean google?

      no:
      * Google is (primarily) a search engine for unstructured data (documents, web pages, etc)
      * Data warehousing is a method of consolidating & distributing primarily structured data
      * Federated searching of databases is a method of spreading a search across multiple databases

      So, data warehousing would be used to consolidate explicit data from multiple sources like:
      - financial, credit, and purchasing info
      - legal
  • by mmell ( 832646 ) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Thursday December 29, 2005 @04:47PM (#14360819)
    I've gotta figure I'd have to take a pay cut to work for the F. I. B.

    Since they'll get what they pay for, the conclusion is obvious.

    "Hey, Boss . . . I've just finished encrypting all of our communications to make us immune to eavesdropping."

    "Yeah, John? How did you set it up?"

    "I used this really secure CSS encryption . . . I downl - er, wrote the source code myself!"

  • system like this used to facilitate id cards and shit was exactly the reason the group bombed the FBI building in that book "Turner Diaries" which allegedly gave McVeigh the idea for the OKC bombing. Sometimes I wonder if the government doesn't get ideas for totalitarian projects from books and movies about totalitarian governments.
    • While collecting data is very usfull to a totalatarian government, it doesn't make the gevernment totalatarian.

      This data collection an information can be a great boon for everyone.

      Instead of shouting into the wind and sounding like a nut, perhaps you should direct that energy to legislation that determines how the data can be used, when it can be accessed, and by whom?

  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @04:56PM (#14360876)
    > "The FBI is fast-tracking the hiring of IT professionals, reports Computerworld. Computer scientists, engineers, IT specialists and IT project managers are wanted to develop systems to support FBI analysts and agents working in the field.

    ...to receive an application for these and other exciting careers, just pick up your phone, call your mother, and ask for one! No Ph.D in mathematics? Can't hack it as a cryptanalyst? Can't manage to configure a web server without leaving cookies on until 2035? No problem! NSA's loss is our gain!

  • Why would someone want to go there? I have
    a friend who used to work for DHS. He said
    that his medical coverage was crummy.
  • by g0bshiTe ( 596213 ) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @05:13PM (#14360960)
    F.B.I. Alert Millions of US Citizens After Data Warehouse Security Breach!

    The FBI Liason released at a press conference this statement
    ...we are currently looking into the matter of how they got in. It would appear that the perpetrators used some WMF vulnerability in Windows to get into our systems. We have patched all of our systems and are now relatively confident that no future intrusions will occur

    In other news it was found that 300 low paid FBI employees are missing and several of the core servers that housed other sensitive data are also missing. A yellow post-it note was found at the scene which reads....
    we r teh N54, j00 w1!! p4Y u5 1 milljion j00 ass dollars for j00r d474 back.
    • And suddenly, even though I'm completely unconnected to the theft, I become very rich because I originally chose a humorous surname to my nick on sourceforge, a "surnick" I've since used more than my real nick...
  • by Yonder Way ( 603108 ) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @05:15PM (#14360978)
    Come on, you don't think Bush really turned his back on the TIA project so easily, do you?
  • by IAAP ( 937607 ) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @05:16PM (#14360982)
    if I walk into the interview and ask "Guns! When do we get guns!"
  • My bet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tacokill ( 531275 ) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @05:29PM (#14361053)
    Knowing the FBI, I am putting my money on a "scalabale implementation of the lastest in RDBMS technology called....Microsoft Access"

  • by Azarael ( 896715 ) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @05:29PM (#14361056) Homepage
    So, in otherwords, the fbi is starting another big unsuccessful project to sink hundreds of millions of dollars into?
  • This is it, the big one. The data warehouse, the meta-file system to rule them all, one system to bind us.

    Are any of you desperate enough for money to take on the task of coding us all into a worldwide virtual prison?

    I hope, i really do, that the truly excellent coders and designers stay away from this nightmare project, and leave the details to the marginally incompetent. A badly designed prison is better than a perfect one.
    • Yes, becasue the NSA is full of nitwits..and by nitwits, I mean some of the smartest people in the world.

      It is not a prison. Gah people should rel;izes this.
      1984 was a prison, not becasues you were watched all the time, but becasue the goverment controlled all the technology for watching, and there were no protections in place for the people.

      What we have is everyone caan be being watched be anyone else, and the a government bound by laws.
      If there was some plot to make life a prison, they would erode rights,
      • What we have is everyone caan be being watched be anyone else, and the a government bound by laws.

        What? Do you really think the government will let you spy on them equally? Will the government let you spy on your politician or CEO neighbor?

        Also, where are you getting the idea that there will be transparecy, due process and rule of law? The Bush administration has just admitted that they are deliberately violating the Constitution, and they will continue to do so. They called the people who informed the pub

    • A badly designed prison is better than a perfect one.

      No. A badly designed prison is a waste of money that makes politicians desperate and willing to spend any amount of money to build the next version, and a populace eager to pay for it.

      I'd rather have some decent computer scientists come in and design something so powerful and dangerous that people will realize the implications and squash the project. If we get something that's 5% better than the last system, then our liberties will get whittled aw

  • New Slashdot stories in November 2006:

    Who's abusing their H-1B privileges? Details, please.
    by CmdrTaco (NYC Div. 4)

    Slashdotters list their favorite fileshare IPs
    by Agent Zonk
  • These guys definitely have a severe need for good IT staff. Can you believe that they have a .exe as a script? To start viewing available positions, you go to
    https://jobs1.quickhire.com/scripts/fbi.exe [quickhire.com]

    To state the obvious, this is bad because:
    It gives the world unnecessary information about the platform you are running on.
    (Debatable).exe's are not exactly a programming environment geared towards web technologies.

    I guess there are others I could come up with, but the basic idea is that of 'I can't believe
  • old news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by recharged95 ( 782975 ) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @06:08PM (#14361256) Journal
    Data warehousing and federated searching have been issues in government over the last 10years. Hmm.. could it be since DBs are usually involved with government data/apps?

    This is not news, especially with the current environment since 2001. Now the challenge has always been non-technical for the FBI:

    hire really IT-savvy folks (i.e. with real experience, not DoD or college newbies) for gov't level salaries and ever-shrinking budgets--and considering the deployment environment is rather boring IMO. Of course, those engineers would be competing with [money hungry] companies like MicroStrategy that offer products they could buy vs. build.

    And throw in the culture/environment, it's a tough pill to swallow for a tech-person to be serious and enjoy the job.

    And really no one should be scared about these types of systems as long as their a policy/laws defined. I mean google already places a "surveillance" factor on the public domain and no one has a problem [yet].

  • The FBI is adopting SOA. Their previous technilogical overhaul (the initiative name escapes me at the moment) was a monumental disaster. At least this round can't possibly be any worse than the last.
    • You're thinking of the Virtual Casefile System [internetnews.com]. . .

      And YOU try building a big code-and-hardware system where the basic spec changes fairly massively every year or so. . .you have something that's STARTING to work. . .and the new CIO wants it to do something entirely different.

      And when it fails due to scope creep and requirements drift. . .blame the contractors who tried to do their best to meet the changing needs, but found the needs changed faster than they could write and test good code. . . .

      At le

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