This website is provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a public service. All information the Bureau provides on this site that is not otherwise attributed is considered public information and may be distributed or copied, subject to Sections 701 and 709 of Title 18, United States Code, which prohibit the unauthorized use of the FBI seal or the use of the words “Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the initials “FBI,” or any colorable imitation of these words and initials “in a manner reasonably calculated to convey the impression that such [activity] . . . is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Here is how we handle information about your visit to our website:
A. Information Collected and Stored Automatically
If you visit our site to read or download information, we automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:
- The name of the domain (for example,”xcompany.com” if you use a private Internet access account or “yourschool.edu” if you are connecting from a university’s domain) and IP address (a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you are using the Internet) from which you access our website;
- The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our site; and
- The pages you visit.
This information is primarily collected for statistical analysis. This government computer system uses software programs to create summary statistics, which are used for such purposes as assessing what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas. In certain circumstances, however, such as in response to lawful law enforcement requests, we may take additional steps to identify you based on this information, and we may share this information, including your identity, with other government agencies.
B. If You Send Us Personal Information
You do not have to provide any personal information to visit this website. If you choose to identify yourself by sending an e-mail containing personal information, we will use that information to respond to your message or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication. The FBI does not collect or use information for commercial marketing.
We may share information you give us with contractors acting on our behalf or with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit. If you provide comments in response to a request for public comments, we may make those comments as well as your identity available to the public in a publication or by posting them on our website. Where possible, we may give you more specific guidance at the point of collection regarding how your personal information may be used or disclosed.
Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules of the National Archives and Records Administration and in some cases may be covered by the Privacy Act and subject to the Freedom of Information Act. A discussion of your rights under these laws can be found at http://publications.usa.gov/USAPubs.php?PubID=6080.
Remember that e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If your communication is sensitive or includes personal information, you may prefer to send it by postal mail instead.
C. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
The FBI is especially concerned about protecting children’s privacy. We hope parents and teachers are involved in children’s Internet explorations. It is particularly important for parents to guide their children when children are asked to provide personal information online. The FBI’s Fun and Games Page does not require children to reveal any information that could personally identify them. If a child chooses to provide personally identifying information to us through e-mail or otherwise, it will only be used to enable us to respond and will not be retained.
“Cookies” are small bits of text that are either used for the duration of a session (“session cookies”) or saved on a user’s hard drive in order to identify that user, or information about that user, the next time the user logs on to a website (“persistent cookies”). Certain pages on the FBI’s website and its subdomains use persistent cookies to provide streamlined navigation and for statistical analysis. We also use session cookies as part of a voluntary web customer satisfaction survey that will appear to a small percentage of our website visitors as they leave the FBI’s site. Session cookies are deleted from the FBI’s servers soon after your session ends and are not collected or saved. Our customer satisfaction survey uses a persistent cookie that is stored on your computer’s hard drive. This cookie ensures that we won’t invite you to take a customer satisfaction survey within 90 days of completing a survey.
For videos that are visible on FBI.gov, a persistent cookie is set by third party providers when you click to play a video. This persistent cookie is used by these third party providers to help maintain the integrity of video statistics. The third party providers do not use web measurement and customization technologies on behalf of the FBI; in addition, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), or any information that could be used to determine an individual’s online activity derived from such uses, is not shared with the FBI.
You can set up your web browser to inform you when cookies are set or to prevent cookies from being set. You can still use our website if you do not accept the cookies, but you may be unable to use certain cookie-dependent features. You can find directions to help you disable cookies in some of the most popular desktop browsers and mobile browsers by following the instructions on the USA.gov web measurement and customization opt out help site.
E. Our Social Network Policy
The FBI is pleased to participate on open, un-moderated forums offered by commercial social networks sites in order to increase government transparency, promote public participation, and encourage collaboration. We currently maintain official FBI accounts on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Please note that the FBI does not control or endorse the comments or opinions provided by visitors to these sites. Visit our Contact Us page for information on how to send official correspondence to the FBI.
F. Security, Intrusion, and Detection
For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, all network traffic is monitored in order to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage or conduct criminal activity. To protect the system from unauthorized use and to ensure that the system is functioning properly, individuals using this computer system are subject to having all of their activities monitored and recorded by personnel authorized to do so by the FBI (and such monitoring and recording will be conducted). Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring and is advised that if such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, system personnel may provide the results of such monitoring to appropriate officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage to this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under applicable federal law.
We maintain a variety of physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information. For example, we use commercially reasonable tools and techniques to protect against unauthorized access to our systems. Also, we restrict access to Personal Information to those who need such access in the course of their duties for us. Your own efforts to protect against unauthorized access play an important role in protecting the security of your personal information. You should be sure to sign off when finished using a shared computer, and always log out of any site when viewing personal information. We may have links to other outside websites that we do not control. We are not responsible for the content or privacy policies of these sites, and users should check those policies on such sites.
G. Disclaimer for Hypertext Links
Neither the FBI nor its contributors are responsible for the content of any off-site pages that are referenced by or that reference to the FBI’s homepage. The user specifically acknowledges that neither the FBI nor its contributors are responsible for any defamatory, offensive, misleading, or illegal conduct of other users, links, or third parties and that the risk of injury from the foregoing rests entirely with the user. Links from the FBI homepage on the World Wide Web to other sites or from other sites to the FBI homepage do not constitute an endorsement by the FBI. These links are for convenience only. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from other sites.
H. Disclaimer for FBI Information
All information provided by the FBI on this homepage is made available to provide immediate access for the convenience of interested persons. While the FBI believes the information to be reliable, human or mechanical error remains a possibility. Therefore, the FBI does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or correct sequencing of the information. Neither the FBI, nor any of the sources of the information, shall be responsible for any error or omission, or for the use of, or the results obtained from the use of, this information.
I. Disclaimer of Endorsement
Reference herein to any specific commercial products, processes, or services by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. government.
Last Updated: April 22, 2015