Cyber Crime … the FBI’s No. 3 Priority ?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says that its No. 3 priority is protecting the United States “against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes.”

According to an analysis by Security Fix, cyber crime remains a distant third priority for the federal law enforcement agency, at least in terms of resources applied to the problem.

That assessment is based on information from the Justice Department itself, based on a reading of a 203-page document justifying its fiscal year 2008 budget request to Congress.

The cyber portion of the 2008 request includes a request for $258.5 million in funding for some 659 field agents, a 1.5 percent increase over 2007 levels. That’s 659 out of a total of 11,868 FBI agents nationwide, which would mean the FBI is on track to dedicate roughly 5.5 percent of its agents to cyber crime investigations. But as we’ll see later, the true number may actually be lower.

Take away the agents dedicated to catching child predators online — a program that accounts for the vast majority of the department’s prosecutorial victories — and about 3.6 percent of the FBI’s agents are dedicated to cyber crime, the report notes. As the Washington Post points out ‘If the FBI’s third most-important priority claims just over 3.5 percent of its active agents, how many agents and FBI resources are dedicated to the remaining Top Ten priorities?'”

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~ by David Barnett on September 28, 2007.

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