FBI Data Management A Tough Case
from the not-looking-good dept
As the US government gets ready to build a super spy computer system connecting all sorts of information, comes this other news about just how backwards the FBI’s computer system currently is. Last month, when the DC sniper was all the rage, the FBI’s special call center equipped with their “Rapid Start Information Management System”, wasn’t really that high tech (and it makes you wonder about the FBI’s definition of “Rapid Start”). Operators would take down notes from incoming calls onto paper forms, which they would put into a box. Every hour, the forms would be collected and sent somewhere else to be digitized and entered into the “Rapid Start” system. That just gives you one example of how screwed up the FBI is at managing their data. Maybe they should be taking the money that’s going to John Poindexter and his super spy computer, and put it towards doing something that’s actually useful.
Comments on “FBI Data Management A Tough Case”
Yes, the FBI is decades behind in many areas. And there is some incentive to keep it that way — paper records are more secure than digital records. Digital records are vulnerable to viruses and hackers; the data is easy to replicate. Paper records can be kept locked in vaults.
The field offices use a 1950s tele-terminal wire system to send messages to each others. It’s never been hacked, as far as anyone knows.
Law enforcement is one field where IT tools are still not too useful. 99% of investigative work is still about interviewing people, and computers are almost entirely useless there. Theoretically, fingerprints, DNA, license plates, can be instantly matched through computers; in reality, the partial fingerprints, fingerprints of an unrelated by-passer, contaminated DNA, and fake license plates make computers often useless.
No Subject Given
The FBI’s idea of a modern super crime busting computer system would probably be to print out all the emails that interested them so that they could be typed into the secure system.
Re: No Subject Given
I’ve read before that there are reciprocal agreements between foreign intelligence agencies and us. Since the NSA’s charter says they can’t spy on domestic citizens, the NSA spies on other countries, in exchange for Britain and Canada’s intelligence agencies tracking all our communications.
Yeah, Congress will vote for a budget for a new super system when doing so casts a rosy light on them, but will they pass a FBI budget that includes upgrades to an existing system thats 15 or 20 years old? Nope.