Review of FBI Security Programs   [open pdf - 1MB]

The focus on criminal investigations as the core function of the FBI and the perception of those investigations as the surest path to career advancement has had an important consequence: operational imperatives will normally and without reflection trump security needs. For instance, senior Bureau management recently removed certain security based access restrictions from the FBIs automated system of records, the principal computer system Hanssen exploited, because the restrictions had hindered the investigation of the terrorist attacks. This decision might make a great deal of sense operationally; however, it was made essentially without consulting the Bureaus security apparatus. One result, surely unforeseen and unintended, was general access within the Bureau to information obtained through warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The use of that information in criminal investigations is tightly restricted by Constitutional considerations and Department of Justice guidelines. Highly classified FISA information, unidentified as to source and generally disseminated to FBI investigators, violates the basic security principle that such information should be circulated only among those who need to know.

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