The world-class capabilities developed and deployed by the Operational Technology Division (OTD) have been instrumental in averting a terrorist plot, identifying adversaries involved in espionage activities, and helping to convict a child pornography subject. And these are just a few examples of where OTD has provided technical support in developing and deploying a capability in an FBI investigation or national security operation. OTD’s capabilities can be categorized into seven areas, all of which are used across the Bureau’s intelligence, national security, and law enforcement operations.
Advanced electronic surveillance and search: Technical expertise, services, policy guidance, and support to the FBI and the Intelligence Community (IC) in collecting evidence and intelligence through the use of lawfully authorized electronic surveillance. Core functions include wireline, wireless, and data network communication technologies.
Digital forensics: Technical capabilities, services, and tools to the FBI, other law enforcement agencies, and the IC in support of investigations involving digital evidence (i.e., computers, audio, video, images, commercial electronics). Primary functions include counter-encryption and technical operations support; digital and multimedia evidence collection; and examination and processing. The FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories (RCFLs) are full service forensic laboratories and training centers, devoted entirely to the examination of digital evidence in support of federal, state, and local law enforcement investigations.
Radio program: The FBI operates the largest fixed land mobile radio system in the U.S. The OTD-managed program supports the Bureau and other Department of Justice components in developing interoperability solutions, encryption and over-the-air rekeying, spectrum management, secure communications products and research, satellite/microwave/high frequency radio capabilities, site support, circuit management, and system design and testing.
Specialized support and coordination: A myriad of infrastructure and specialized services which enable field office operations as well as support the FBI as a whole. These services include crisis communications, financial and human resources management, research and development efforts, project management, industry liaison, facilities and asset management, technical intelligence analysis, and domestic electronic surveillance support. The OTD’s Technical Response Unit (TRU) specializes in providing secure communications to deployed FBI personnel at any location globally. During 2012, the TRU provided support to a number of major events, including the Super Bowl and the Republican and Democratic national conventions.
Tactical operations: Covert entry/search capability for all authorized Title III and Title 50 court orders, as well as Executive Branch orders. (These covert entries or searches are conducted as outlined in the enabling order.)
Technical personnel and defensive programs: Technical training and program oversight to the FBI’s technically-trained agents and electronics technicians. The OTD also provides expertise, equipment, and operational assistance in support of the FBI’s intrusion detection systems and defensive electronics program, ensuring the physical security and technical integrity of Bureau facilities worldwide.
Technical surveillance: State-of-the-art audio, video, and tracking capabilities in direct support of the FBI’s counterintelligence, counterterrorism, criminal, and cyber programs.