FBI Agents Doing Without Email

    March 21, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

In New York, the 2,000 employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation won’t all have dot-gov email addresses until the end of 2006.

The well-dressed FBI agent has a badge and gun. What the agent lacks, amazingly enough, is an @ic.fbi.gov email address. A New York Daily News report said not all agents have email, due to money woes:

“As ridiculous as this might sound, we have real money issues right now, and the government is reluctant to give all agents and analysts dot-gov accounts,” Mark Mershon, the assistant director in charge of the agency’s New York City office, said.

“We just don’t have the money, and that is an endless stream of complaints that come from the field,” he said.

A FBI spokesperson noted in the report that the agency has a secure internal email system, and that about half of the New York office’s staff do have external email accounts now. Those external email accounts apparently require external funding.

Funding issues and the long-running RIM-NTP lawsuit also put a damper on the agency’s pilot program for putting BlackBerry devices in agent’s pockets. The program provided for 100 of the BlackBerries in the field, to help personnel better communicate with various levels of law enforcement.

Though the end of the lawsuit removed that problem, the government had threatened to cut the pilot program’s funding, which would have meant turning in the BlackBerries. That won’t happen now, though:

“I, with the help of others, raised a stink,” Mershon said, adding that BlackBerry funding has been restored.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.