The Role of Federal Agencies in Fighting Digital Crime
The United States of America has reinforced its security organ by establishing independent intelligence agencies. These include the FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security Department as well as the Secret Service. These agencies’ work is coordinated by the government but they are not influenced by political twists. They never interfere with each other’s operations.
Challenges Associated with Their Independence
These agencies have the tendency of trying to outdo each other. When handling a crime scene investigation, one agency may displace the other in their process of investigation. This has led to tensions building up among them.
The fact that some agencies are considered more senior than the other is also a challenge. The ones considered a little bit less important try hard to prove their competence and end up compromising security. There have been cases whereby an agency’s officials are told to abandon a crime in the process of investigation, without being given clear reasons.
Poor coordination also occurs. This is evident when more than one agency works at a crime scene or handles a case. There should be a clear intercommunication and exchange of ideas between them. An interagency employee database communication would also be helpful; so that the agency spies and officers do not mix up or collide on issues pertaining security (Breger, Edles-2000).
Common Characteristics of Security Agencies
There are factors that are common across all the agencies. Confidentiality is a key in all agencies’ operations. Information leaking on investigations is highly avoided. All the agencies use smart and highly trained operatives who are also equipped with military skills. Forensics is one of all the agencies’ important sources of information, especially during crime investigation. (Burch-2007)
Improving Independent Intelligence Agencies to Improve Security
It is well understood that information of the various agencies should always be kept top secret. This is a key principle, especially when handling matters of terrorism and digital crime. However, it should also be noted that some of these terrorists and digital criminals are so smart that they can hack and compromise the agencies’ systems. Also, there might be cases of disloyalty among employees, though this is rare.
Such problems can be solved if the agencies are allowed to cooperate and coordinate well. These two aspects should not only occur on TV screen because of public image improvement, but also in reality. The agencies should be allowed to carry out joint investigations in case one agency faces difficulty. The idea of displacing an agency off an investigation only because it is lagging behind should not be embraced. Rather, the agencies should cooperate carrying out the investigation.
If possible, confidentiality can be breached by sharing information about a dangerous threat to the national security.
Competition among the agencies should also be avoided. The organs of the government should treat each agency with equal respect. This will enable the integrity of the agencies to be upheld. It will also change the perception of one agency toward the other.
Taking into consideration these suggestions and dealing with the above challenges will improve the level of national security in the US.