The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice. Title 28, United States Code, Section 533, which authorizes the Attorney General to “appoint officials to detect…crimes against the United States,” and other federal statutes give the FBI the authority and responsibility to investigate specific crimes. At present, the FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes.
The Bureau is also authorized to investigate matters where no prosecution is contemplated. For example, under the authority of several Executive Orders, the FBI conducts background security checks concerning nominees to sensitive government positions. In addition, the FBI has been directed or authorized by presidential statements or directives to obtain information about activities jeopardizing the security of the nation.
Information obtained through a FBI investigation is presented to the appropriate U. S. Attorney or DOJ official, who decides if prosecution, or other action, is warranted. Top priority has been assigned to the five areas that affect society the most: counter terrorism, drugs/organized crime, foreign counterintelligence, violent crimes, and white-collar crimes.
The FBI also is authorized to provide other law enforcement agencies with cooperative services, such as fingerprint identification, laboratory examinations, and police training; to publish annual Uniform Crime Reports; and to administer the National Crime Information Center.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Treasury with unique responsibilities dedicated to reducing violent crime, collecting revenue, and protecting the public. ATF enforces the Federal laws and regulations relating to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives and arson by working directly and in cooperation with others also.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms must respond to the public outcry against crime, violence, and other threats to public safety. We must also continue to do our part to maintain the economic stability of the country. Our vision will help us chart the course to change the way we serve the public and achieve new levels of effectiveness and teamwork.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a tax-collecting, enforcement and regulatory arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In common with all other members of the executive branch, ATF’s responsibility is established by congressional action. ATF cannot enact a law, nor can it amend the law. Charged, as it is with fiscal oversight of some of the most controversial topics in Western civilization, ATF strives to maintain professional neutrality while giving a 35-to-1 return on every dollar it spends. ATF has the best cost-to-collection ratio in the federal family.
The National Security Agency is the Nation’s cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. information systems and produce foreign intelligence information. A high technology organization, NSA is on the frontiers of communications and data processing. It is also one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research within the Government.
Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) is a unique discipline with a long and storied past. SIGINT’s modern era dates to World War II, when the U.S. broke the Japanese military code and learned of plans to invade Midway Island. This intelligence allowed the U.S. to defeat Japan’s superior fleet. The use of SIGINT is believed to have directly contributed to shortening the war by at least one year. Today, SIGINT continues to play an important role in maintaining the superpower status of the United States.
As the world becomes more and more technology-oriented, the Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) mission becomes increasingly challenging. This mission involves protecting all classified and sensitive information that is stored or sent through U.S. Government equipment. INFOSEC professionals go to great lengths to make certain that Government systems remain impenetrable. This support spans from the highest levels of U.S. Government to the individual war fighter in the field.
NSA conducts one of the U.S. Government’s leading research and development programs. Some of the Agency’s R&D projects have significantly advanced the state of the art in the scientific and business worlds. NSA’s early interest in cryptanalytic research led to the first large-scale computer and the first solid-state computer, predecessors to the modern computer. NSA pioneered efforts in flexible storage capabilities, which led to the development of the tape cassette. NSA also made ground-breaking developments in semiconductor technology and remains a world leader in many technological fields.
NSA employs the country’s premier codemakers and codebreakers. It is said to be the largest employer of mathematicians in the United States and perhaps the world. Its mathematicians contribute directly to the two missions of the Agency: designing cipher systems that will protect the integrity of U.S. information systems and searching for weaknesses in adversaries’ systems and codes.
Technology and the world change rapidly, and great emphasis is placed on staying ahead of these changes with employee training programs. The National Cryptologic School is indicative of the Agency’s commitment to professional development. The school not only provides unique training for the NSA workforce, but it also serves as a training resource for the entire Department of Defense. NSA sponsors employees for bachelor and graduate studies at the Nation’s top universities and colleges, and selected Agency employees attend the various war colleges of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Most NSA/CSS employees, both civilian and military, are headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, centrally located between Baltimore and Washington, DC. Its workforce represents an unusual combination of specialties: analysts, engineers, physicists, mathematicians, linguists, computer scientists, researchers, as well as customer relations specialists, security officers, data flow experts, managers, administrative and clerical assistants.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), independent executive bureau of the U.S. government established by the National Security Act of 1947, replacing the wartime Office of Strategic Services (1942 45), the first U.S. intelligence agency. The CIA was established to gather intelligence abroad and report to the President and the National Security Council, his advisory body. It was given (1949) special powers under the Central Intelligence Act: the director may spend agency funds without accounting for them; the size of its staff is secret; and employees, exempt from civil service procedures, may be hired, investigated, or dismissed as the CIA sees fit. To safeguard civil liberties in the United States, however, the CIA is denied domestic police powers; for operations in the United States it must enlist the services of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Allen Welsh Dulles, director from 1953 to 1961, strengthened the agency and emboldened its tactics. The CIA has often been criticized for covert operations in the domestic politics of foreign countries. The agency was heavily involved in the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, deeply embarrassing the United States. In 1971 the U.S. government acknowledged that the CIA had recruited and paid an army fighting in Laos. In 1973 the CIA came under Congressional investigation for its role in the Pentagon Papers case. The agency had provided members of the White House staff, on request, with a personality profile of Daniel Ellsberg, defendant in the Pentagon Papers trial in 1973, and had indirectly aided the White House Plumbers, the special unit established to investigate internal security leaks. This direct violation of the National Security Act’s prohibition led Congress to strengthen provisions barring the agency from domestic operations. Its foreign operations came under attack in 1974 for involvement in Chilean internal affairs during the administration of Salvador Allende. In 1986 it was shown to be involved in the Iran-Contra investigation. While covert operations receive the most attention, the CIA’s major responsibility is intelligence, in which it uses not only covert agents but also such technological resources as satellite photos and intercepted telecommunications transmissions.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency, directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC’s jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.
The FCC is directed by five Commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for 5-year terms, except when filling an unexpired term. The President designates one of the Commissioners to serve as Chairperson. Only three Commissioners may be members of the same political party. None of them can have a financial interest in any Commission-related business.
As the chief executive officer of the Commission, the Chairman delegates management and administrative responsibility to the Managing Director. The Commissioners supervise all FCC activities, delegating responsibilities to staff units and Bureaus.
The Commission staff is organized by function. There are seven operating Bureaus. The Bureaus are: Cable Services, Common Carrier, Consumer Information, Enforcement, International, Mass Media, and Wireless Telecommunications. These Bureaus are responsible for developing and implementing regulatory programs, processing applications for licenses or other filings, analyzing complaints, conducting investigations, and taking part in FCC hearings. The staff offices are: Administrative Law Judges, Communications Business Opportunities, Engineering and Technology, General Counsel, Inspector General, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, Managing Director, Media Relations, Plans and Policy, and Workplace Diversity.