Frequently Asked Questions
|Conducting Investigations | Background Investigations | Fugitives
The FBI and Other Government and Law Enforcement Agencies | Counterterrorism | Foreign Counterintelligence
Other Investigative Priorities | Civil Rights | FBI Employment
What is the FBI?
The FBI is the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice. It has the authority and responsibility to investigate specific crimes assigned to it. The FBI also is authorized to provide other law enforcement agencies with cooperative services, such as fingerprint identification, laboratory examinations, and police training.
What is the mission of the FBI?
The mission of the FBI is to uphold the law through the investigation of violations of federal criminal law; to protect the United States from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities; to provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies; and to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public and is faithful to the Constitution of the United States.
When was the FBI founded?
On July 26, 1908, then-Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte appointed an unnamed force of Special Agents to be the investigative force of the Department of Justice. The FBI evolved from this small group.
Who is the head of the FBI?
The FBI is headed by a Director who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a term not to exceed ten years. The current Director of the FBI is Robert S. Mueller, III.
is the FBI organized?
FBI is headquartered in Washington D.C. The offices
and divisions at FBI Headquarters provide program
direction and support to 56 field offices, approximately
400 satellite offices known as resident agencies, four
specialized field installations, and 60
international liaison offices known as Legal Attachés.
many people are employed by the FBI?
On June 30, 2008, the FBI had 30,847 employees, including 12,737 special agents and 18,110 professional support personnel. On that date, we employed a total of 13,611 women, 7,897 minorities, and 1,110 persons with disabilities.
Is the FBI a type of national police force?
No. The FBI is an investigative component of the United States Department of Justice. It is one of 32 federal agencies with law enforcement responsibilities.
How accurately is the FBI portrayed in books, television shows, and motion pictures?
Any author, television script writer, or producer may consult
with the FBI about closed cases or our operations, services,
or history. However, there is no requirement that they
do so, and the FBI does not edit or approve their work.
Some authors, television programs, or motion picture producers
offer reasonably accurate presentations of our responsibilities,
investigations, and procedures in their story lines, while
others present their own interpretations or introduce fictional
events, persons, or places for dramatic effect. Learn
more about working with the FBI.
FBI Conducting Investigations
What are the primary investigative functions of the FBI?
The FBI's mandate, the broadest of all federal investigative agencies, authorizes it to investigate all federal criminal violations that have not been specifically assigned by Congress to another federal agency. The FBI's investigative functions fall into the categories of applicant matters; civil rights; counterterrorism; foreign counterintelligence; organized crime/drugs; violent crimes and major offenders; and financial crime.
Where is the FBI's authority written down?
The powers of the FBI are derived from congressional statutes. Title 28, United States Code, Section 533, authorizes the Attorney General to appoint officials to detect and prosecute crimes against the United States. Title 18, United States Code, Section 3052, specifically authorizes Special Agents and officials of the FBI to make arrests, carry firearms, and serve warrants. Title 18, United States Code, Section 3107, empowers Special Agents and officials to make seizures under warrant for violation of federal statutes. The FBI's authority to investigate specific criminal violations is conferred by numerous other congressional statutes. In addition, Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 0.85, outlines the investigative and other responsibilities of the FBI, including the collection of fingerprint cards and identification records; the training of state and local law enforcement officials at the FBI National Academy; and the operation of the National Crime Information Center and the FBI Laboratory.
Then the FBI actually must work through U. S. Attorneys?
Yes. Although the FBI is responsible for investigating possible violations of federal law, the FBI does not give an opinion or decide if an individual will be prosecuted. The federal prosecutors employed by the Department of Justice or the U.S. Attorneys offices are responsible for making this decision and for conducting the prosecution of the case.
What does the FBI do with information and evidence gathered during an investigation?
If a possible violation of federal law under the jurisdiction of the FBI has occurred, the FBI will conduct an investigation. The information and evidence gathered in the course of that investigation are then presented to the appropriate U.S. Attorney or Department of Justice official who will determine whether or not prosecution or further action is warranted. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, evidence is either returned or retained for court.
What does the FBI do with persons it arrests in the course of an investigation?
A person arrested by the FBI is taken into custody and photographed and fingerprinted. In addition, an attempt often is made to obtain a voluntary statement from the arrestee. The arrestee remains in FBI custody until the initial court appearance, which must take place without unnecessary delay.
What authority do FBI Special Agents have to make arrests in the United States, its territories, or on foreign soil?
In the United States and its territories, FBI Special Agents may make arrests for any federal offense committed in their presence or when they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed, or is committing, a felony violation of U.S. laws. Concerning arrests on foreign soil, FBI Special Agents generally do not have authority outside the United States except in certain cases where, with the consent of the host country, Congress has granted the FBI extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Are FBI Special Agents permitted to install wiretaps at their own discretion?
No. Wiretapping is one of the FBI's most sensitive techniques and is strictly controlled by federal statutes. It is used infrequently and then only to combat the most serious crimes and terrorism. Title 18, United States Code, Section 2516, contains the protocol requiring all law enforcement officers to establish probable cause that the wiretaps may provide evidence of a felony violation of federal law. After determining if a sufficient showing of probable cause has been made, impartial federal judges approve or disapprove wiretaps. The approving judge then must continue to monitor how the wiretap is being conducted. Wiretapping without meeting these stringent requirements and obtaining the necessary court orders is a serious felony under the law.
What is the FBI's policy on the use of deadly force by its Special Agents?
FBI Special Agents may use deadly force only when necessary--when the Special Agent has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the Special Agent or another person. If feasible, a verbal warning to submit to the authority of the Special Agent shall be given prior to the use of deadly force.
If a crime is committed that is a violation of local, state, and federal laws, does the FBI "take over" the investigation?
No. State and local law enforcement agencies are not subordinate to the FBI, and the FBI does not supervise or usurp their investigations. However, through cooperation, the investigative resources of the FBI and state and local agencies often are pooled in a common effort to investigate and solve the cases. In fact, many task forces composed of FBI Special Agents and state and local officers have been formed to locate fugitives and to address serious, recurring crime such as terrorism and street violence.
If an individual is being sought by local police for committing a crime, what assistance can the FBI render to locate the fugitive?
A "stop" will be placed against the fugitive's fingerprints in the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Local police will be notified immediately upon the receipt of any additional fingerprints of the fugitive. The fugitive's name and identifying data also will be entered into the National Crime Information Center, a computerized database that is accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide. Any agency that subsequently inquires about this individual will be informed of his or her fugitive status. In addition, the FBI may obtain a federal arrest warrant and thereafter attempt to locate an individual who flees prosecution or confinement if there is reason to believe the person has traveled across a state line or left the country.
If a child is missing and possibly kidnapped, but no interstate transportation is known, will the FBI begin an investigation?
Yes. The FBI will initiate a kidnapping investigation involving a missing child "of tender years" even though there is no known interstate aspect. "Tender years" is generally defined as a child twelve years or younger. The FBI will monitor other kidnapping situations when there is no evidence of interstate travel, and it offers assistance from various entities including the FBI Laboratory.
What is the FBI's policy on the use of informants?
The courts have recognized that the government's use of informants is lawful and often essential to the effectiveness of properly authorized law enforcement investigations. However, use of informants to assist in the investigation of criminal activity may involve an element of deception, intrusion into the privacy of individuals, or cooperation with persons whose reliability and motivation may be open to question. Although it is legally permissible for the FBI to use informants in its investigations, special care is taken to carefully evaluate and closely supervise their use so the rights of individuals under investigation are not infringed. The FBI can only use informants consistent with specific guidelines issued by the Attorney General that control the use of informants.
Are informants regular employees of the FBI?
No. Informants are individuals who supply information to the FBI on a confidential basis. They are not hired or trained employees of the FBI, although they may receive compensation in some instances for their information and expenses.
If a citizen gives information about a potential crime to the FBI and there is a question as to whether a federal violation has occurred, who in the government decides?
The FBI may conduct an investigation in order to obtain sufficient facts concerning the allegation. If there is a question as to whether or not a federal violation has occurred, the FBI consults with the United States Attorney's office in the district where the alleged offense took place.
How much time and money will the FBI spend on a "typical" investigation?
There is no typical expenditure of time, personnel, or money in an FBI investigation. Some investigations are not complicated and are quickly resolved; others are long-term, complex, and involve multiple jurisdictions, subjects, and violations.
Can I obtain detailed information about a current FBI investigation I see in the news?
No. Such information is protected from public disclosure, in accordance with current law and DOJ and FBI policy. This policy preserves the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of individuals involved in the investigation prior to any public charging for violations of the law. It also serves to protect the rights of people not yet charged with a crime.
Does the FBI provide arrest records at the request of private citizens?
Yes. The subject of an identification record may obtain a copy thereof by submitting a written request. The request must be accompanied by satisfactory proof of identity (consisting of name, date and place of birth, and a set of roll-inked fingerprint impressions) and a certified check or money order for the $18 processing fee. The FBI will not provide copies of arrest records to individuals other than the subject of the record.
Who monitors the FBI?
The FBI's activities are closely and regularly scrutinized by a variety of entities. Congress, through several oversight committees in the Senate and House, reviews the FBI's budget appropriations, programs, and selected investigations. Also, the results of FBI investigations are often reviewed by the judicial system during court proceedings. Within the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI is responsible to the Attorney General, and it reports its findings to United States Attorneys across the country. Additionally, the FBI's activities are regularly reviewed and reported by the nation's news media. For more information, see Responding To Your Concerns: Checks and Balances on the FBI.
What type of applicants does the FBI investigate?
The FBI conducts background investigations on all persons who apply for employment with the FBI. Additionally, the FBI conducts background investigations for certain other government entities, such as the White House, Department of Justice, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and certain House and Senate committees.
Who can obtain the results of such background investigations?
The subject of a background investigation may request the contents of his or her own report through the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts. The results of background investigations are given to the requesting government entity. Other government entities that need to assess a person's suitability for employment or access to classified materials may also request the results.
How many fugitives does the FBI look for at any one time?
Approximately 12,000. Through the Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution or Confinement statute, the FBI for many years has been responsible for seeking the country's most wanted, violent fugitives.
Can the FBI send "wanted posters" on fugitives to private citizens?
No. These items only are made available to law enforcement or other government agencies in furtherance of the investigations to locate the fugitives.
Since the FBI does not send out wanted posters to the public, is there any way I can see photographs and descriptions of current FBI fugitives?
As part of our Fugitive Publicity Program, the FBI places photographs and other information regarding fugitives on our Most Wanted web site. The FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" and other fugitives are included. Additionally, many United States Post Offices display 8" by 8" FBI "wanted posters," officially known as Identification Orders.
Should a citizen verify his or her suspicions about criminal activity before reporting them to the FBI?
Citizens should never place themselves in harm's way or conduct their own investigations. Instead, any suspicious activity about matters under FBI jurisdiction should be reported to the FBI promptly.
The FBI and Other Government and Law Enforcement Agencies
How does the FBI differ from the Central Intelligence Agency?
The CIA has no law enforcement function. Rather, it collects and analyzes information that is vital to the formation of U.S. policy, particularly in areas that impact the security of the nation. The CIA collects information only regarding foreign countries and their citizens. It is prohibited from collecting information regarding "U.S. Persons," a term that includes U.S. citizens, resident aliens, legal immigrants, and U.S. corporations, regardless of where they are located.
How does the FBI differ from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
The FBI is the primary law enforcement agency for the U.S. Government, charged with enforcement of over 200 categories of federal laws. The DEA is a single-mission agency charged with enforcement of drug laws. The ATF is the agency whose primary investigative responsibility is enforcement of federal firearms statutes and the investigation of arsons and bombings that are not in furtherance of terrorism.
What is the FBI doing to improve its interaction with other federal law enforcement agencies?
The FBI has long believed that cooperation is the backbone of effective law enforcement. Due to limited federal law enforcement resources and increasingly complex criminal organizations, effective and efficient use of resources is essential. The FBI routinely cooperates and works closely with all federal law enforcement agencies on individual joint investigations and through formal task forces that address broad crime problem areas. On December 4, 2001, the Office of Law Enforcement Coordination was created to help improve our coordination and information sharing with state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies.
Does the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program involve other law enforcement agencies?
Yes. In 2003 the UCR Program received crime data from more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies, representing 93 percent of the U.S. population. The UCR Program collects information on serious crimes reported to law enforcement agencies.
Does the FBI exchange fingerprint or arrest information with domestic and foreign police agencies?
Yes. Identification and criminal history information may be disclosed to federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies or any agency directly engaged in criminal justice activity. As well, such information may be disclosed to any foreign or international agency consistent with international treaties, conventions, and executive agreements, where such disclosure may assist the recipient in the performance of a law enforcement function.
What is the FBI's policy on sharing information in its files with domestic or foreign investigative agencies or with other governmental entities?
Through what is known as the National Name Check Program, limited information from the FBI's central records system is disseminated in response to requests by other entities lawfully authorized to receive it. These entities include other federal agencies in the Executive Branch, congressional committees, the federal judiciary, some foreign police and intelligence agencies, and state and local agencies within the criminal justice system. The FBI's central records system contains information regarding applicant, personnel, administrative actions, and criminal and security/intelligence matters. Dissemination of FBI information is made strictly in accordance with provisions of the Privacy Act; Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a; FBI policy and procedures regarding discretionary release of information in accordance with the Privacy Act; and other applicable federal orders and directives.
Do FBI Special Agents work with state, local, or other law enforcement officers on "task forces"?
Yes. We work with other agencies to investigate violations of many of the criminal laws that the FBI is charged to enforce. Task forces have proven to be a very effective way for the FBI and state and local law enforcement to join together to address specific crime problems. In law enforcement, "concurrent jurisdiction" may exist, whereby a crime may be a local, state, and federal violation all at the same time. Task forces concentrate on terrorism, organized crime, narcotics, bank robberies, kidnapping, and motor vehicle theft.
What training assistance is afforded local law enforcement officers?
The FBI offers several training opportunities. The FBI National Academy, founded in 1935, provides college-level training to mid-level state, local, and foreign police officers. The FBI National Academy is located in the same facility as the FBI Academy, where the Bureau trains its own employees, at Quantico, Virginia. As part of the FBI's Field Police Training Program, qualified FBI police instructors provide training assistance at local, county, and state law enforcement training facilities to improve the investigative, managerial, administrative, and technical skills of local officers. This training program strengthens the cooperative effort between the FBI and local agencies in protecting the public.
What is the Critical Incident Response Group?
The FBI's Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) provides rapid assistance to incidents in a crisis. Through CIRG, expert assistance is available in cases involving the abduction or mysterious disappearance of children, crisis management, hostage negotiation, criminal investigative analysis, and special weapons and tactics. CIRG also assists in the assessment, selection, and training of FBI undercover employees.
What is IAFIS?
The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, implemented in July 1999, replaces the former paper-based system for identifying and searching criminal history records. It supports a law enforcement agency's ability to digitally record fingerprints and electronically exchange information with the FBI. Manual steps have been reduced and processing speeds increased.
What is the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest?
The ILEA is a multinational effort organized by the United States, the government of Hungary, and other international training partners. A broad spectrum of U.S. federal law enforcement agencies and the Department of State are engaged in a cooperative effort to provide assistance to our police colleagues in the emerging democracies through training. Other countries throughout the world are actively supporting this initiative by providing instructors. Representatives from the European Union and the Council of Europe also have participated. In addition, the FBI conducts extensive police training in foreign countries. This training not only aids the foreign countries but substantially helps the FBI investigate international crime aimed at U.S. citizens and interests.
Does the FBI Laboratory conduct examinations of evidence for anyone other than the FBI?
Yes. In addition to performing examinations for its own cases, the FBI Laboratory conducts scientific examinations of evidence, free of charge, for any duly constituted federal, state, and/or local law enforcement organization within the United States. Such services also may be made available to foreign law enforcement agencies under special agreement between the Attorney General and the Secretary of State.
Does the FBI conduct fingerprint card checks or examine items for latent fingerprints at the request of private citizens?
The FBI provides fingerprint card checks for certain licensing and employment purposes. Latent fingerprint examinations are conducted only for duly constituted law enforcement agencies.
What is the FBI's role in counterterrorism?
The FBI's role is to protect the U.S. and U.S. persons and interests throughout the world from terrorist attack. This is accomplished through professional investigation, intelligence activities, and coordinated efforts with local, state, federal, and foreign entities as appropriate.
Does the FBI share information on terrorists with other domestic and foreign law enforcement agencies?
Countering terrorism effectively requires the exchange of information and close, daily coordination among U.S. law enforcement, intelligence, and service entities, as well as international law enforcement agencies. An example of this cooperation includes the Terrorist Threat Integration Center.
What is the FBI's responsibility in bombing cases?
The FBI investigates the malicious damaging or destruction, by means of an explosive, of property used in interstate or foreign commerce. These matters include the bombing or attempted bombing of college or university facilities and incidents that appear to have been perpetrated by terrorist or revolutionary groups. The FBI also investigates bombings in the U.S. and overseas when the incident was an act of terrorism against U.S. persons or interests. It collects evidence, interviews witnesses, develops leads, and identifies and apprehends the person or persons responsible. The FBI assists U.S. Attorneys in preparing evidence or exhibits for trial as well.
Does the FBI investigate hate groups in the United States?
The FBI investigates domestic hate groups within guidelines established by the Attorney General. Investigations are conducted only when three criteria are met: a threat or advocacy of force is made; the group has the apparent ability to carry out the proclaimed act; and the act would constitute a potential violation of federal law.
Does the FBI "monitor" any potential terrorist groups in the United States?
The FBI is bound by guidelines issued by the Attorney General that establish a consistent policy on when an investigation may be initiated. Through these guidelines, the FBI obtains authorization to collect information. The facts are analyzed and then used to prevent terrorist activity and, whenever possible, to aid in the arrest and prosecution of persons or groups who have violated the law.
What action does the FBI take when a foreign group linked to terrorism abroad has members in the United States?
The approach taken by the FBI in counterterrorism investigations is based on the need both to prevent incidents where possible and to react effectively after incidents occur. Our investigations focus on the unlawful activity of the group, not the ideological orientation of its members. When conducting investigations, the FBI collects information that not only serves as the basis for prosecution, but also builds an intelligence base to help prevent terrorist acts.
What concerns do the FBI and the law enforcement community have regarding the growing use of encryption products by the public, both domestically and abroad?
Law enforcement is extremely concerned about the serious threat posed by the use of robust encryption products that do not allow for authorized access or the timely decryption of critical evidence obtained through lawful electronic surveillance and search and seizure. On one hand, encryption is extremely beneficial when used legitimately to protect commercially sensitive information and communications. On the other hand, the potential use of such products by criminals or terrorists raises a tremendous threat to public safety and national security. In view of this, law enforcement supports a balanced encryption policy that meets both commercial and individual needs as well as law enforcement needs. The FBI has found that robust encryption, combined with a key escrow feature that permits court-authorized access to "plain text," is the only way to achieve these two goals without seriously jeopardizing public safety.
What is the FBI's foreign counterintelligence responsibility?
As the country's lead counterintelligence agency, the FBI is responsible for detecting and lawfully countering actions of foreign intelligence services and organizations that employ human and technical means to gather information about the United States that adversely affects U.S. national interests. The espionage or "spying" activities may involve the acquisition of classified, sensitive, or proprietary information from the U.S. government or U.S. companies. The FBI will investigate wherever a foreign entity conducts clandestine intelligence activities in the U.S.
What is "economic espionage"?
Economic espionage is foreign power-sponsored or coordinated intelligence activity directed at the U.S. government or U.S. corporations, establishments, or persons designed to unlawfully and clandestinely obtain sensitive financial, trade, or economic policy information; proprietary economic information; critical technologies; or to unlawfully or clandestinely influence sensitive economic policy decisions. This theft, through open and clandestine methods, can provide foreign entities with a treasure of proprietary economic information at a fraction of the true cost of their research and development, causing significant economic loss.
Do foreign spies always operate undercover?
No. Espionage can be committed by almost anyone. Recent surveys indicate that most technology lost can be attributed to insiders in U.S. corporations. Espionage subjects often act on their own to fulfill requests of foreign intelligence services.
Has the use of space satellites, listening devices, and other advanced technology reduced the importance of the human foreign spy?
The human factor in espionage always will remain important. The use of high technology gives the intelligence officer anonymity. Thus, high technology enhances the efforts of foreign spies but does not replace them entirely.
Has the ending of the Cold War reduced the amount of espionage?
No. Traditional espionage has changed, with new threats from nontraditional countries. In some areas espionage has increased and actually has become more difficult to assess and predict.
Why do we so seldom hear about arrests for espionage?
Only failed attempts at espionage lead to arrests. Espionage and espionage-related matters, which cost the nation an estimated $100 billion per year, differ from the FBI's criminal investigations in that arrest and prosecution is not and cannot be the ultimate goal. Most FBI responses to foreign intelligence activity result in neutralizing the threat, rather than by making arrests, and therefore are not known to the public.
How can citizens help the FBI protect the U.S. from foreign intelligence operations?
Citizens can raise their own security awareness and report any suspected espionage activity to the FBI. Apparent espionage activity would include unauthorized attempts to view records or plans; scavenging through trash; eavesdropping on live or telephone conversations; questions from persons who have no need to know certain information to do their job; or persons found outside their normal work areas or at unusual hours. Security awareness is vital to our national interests.
Other Investigative Priorities
What steps are being taken by the FBI to reduce violent crime in America, particularly that committed by gangs?
The FBI is the principal federal agency with jurisdiction to address violent street gangs. It conducts investigations on these groups through its Safe Streets Initiative with other law enforcement partners. The FBI has also developed National Violent Crime, Drug, and Gang Strategies that together serve as the framework for combating violence in the United States.
Does the FBI keep statistics on criminal offenses committed in the United States?
Yes. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, which began in 1929, collects information on serious crimes reported to law enforcement agencies. The categories are homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The Program also collects information on hate crimes and on persons arrested for twenty-two other less serious crime categories. Hate crime offenses cover incidents motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity/national origin.
What is white-collar crime and how is the FBI combating it?
White-collar crime is non-violent in nature and includes health care fraud, corporate fraud, government fraud, and telemarketing fraud, to name a few. The FBI is actively pursuing a number of investigations to combat white-collar crime. A plan is in place to target check fraud and counterfeit negotiable instruments by organized groups. The FBI also is concentrating on mortgage loan fraud. There are also joint ventures including The White Collar Crime Center and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
How is the FBI fighting organized crime, particularly international organized crime?
The FBI uses a variety of laws, asset forfeiture statutes, and sophisticated investigative techniques in its domestic and international cases. The criminal and civil provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute are a particularly suited to dismantle criminal organizations. These investigations frequently utilize undercover operations, court-authorized electronic surveillance, informants and cooperating witnesses, and consensual monitoring. Many of these are conducted with foreign and domestic police agencies. The FBI operates under an organized crime/drug strategy that focuses its investigations on major international, national, and regional groups that control large segments of the illegal activities.
What is the FBI doing about drug trafficking?
The FBI has determined that the most effective means of combating this crime is to use the Enterprise Theory of Investigation, which focuses investigations and prosecutions on entire criminal enterprises rather than on individuals. Through this process, all aspects of the criminal operation can be identified. The Theory supports not only the prosecution of the criminal enterprise, but also the seizure of the enterprise's assets and is intended to disrupt or dismantle entire criminal organizations.
Does the FBI investigate graft and corruption in local government and in state and local police departments?
Yes. The FBI uses applicable federal laws, including the Hobbs Act, to investigate violations by public officials in federal, state, and local governments. A public official is any person elected, appointed, employed, or otherwise has a duty to maintain honest and faithful public service. Most violations occur when the official asks, demands, solicits, accepts, receives, or agrees to receive something of value in return for influence in the performance of an official act. The categories of public corruption investigated by the FBI include legislative, judicial, regulatory, contractual, and law enforcement.
Does the FBI investigate computer-related crime?
Yes. The FBI is charged with investigating computer-related crimes involving both criminal acts and national security issues. Examples of criminal acts would be using a computer to commit fraud or using the Internet to transmit obscene material. In the national security area, the FBI investigates criminal matters involving the nation's computerized banking and financial systems; the various "911" emergency networks; and telecommunications systems. See FBI Cyber Investigations for more information.
How does the FBI protect the civil rights of people in the United States?
The FBI investigates all violations of federal civil rights statutes. The results of such investigations are given to the Department of Justice, which determines prosecution. Civil rights violations fall into several categories: racial or religious discrimination; color of law-use of excessive force or police misconduct; involuntary servitude or slavery; the Voting Rights Act of 1965; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act; and the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.
What are the most typical civil rights violations?
The most common complaint involves allegations of excessive use of force by law enforcement personnel causing injuries or death. Approximately 40 to 50 law enforcement personnel are convicted of this offense each year. Another common complaint involves racial violence, such as physical assaults, homicides, verbal or written threats, or desecration of property.
How do I apply for a job at the FBI?
Please visit our employment webpage to apply for a job and to find answers to frequently asked questions about careers in the FBI. The questions and answers address many topics including support positions, the Special Agent application process, and FBI background investigations.
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