The Operational Technology Division (OTD)—based in Quantico, Virginia—develops and deploys technology-based solutions to enable and enhance the FBI’s intelligence, national security, and law enforcement operations. OTD is staffed with a wide array of highly-skilled and multi-disciplined agents, engineers, electronic technicians, forensic examiners, and analysts who support our most significant investigations and national security operations with advanced electronic surveillance, digital forensics, technical surveillance, tactical operations, and communications capabilities.
While OTD’s work doesn’t typically make the news, the fruits of its labor are evident in the busted child pornography ring, the exposed computer hacker, the prevented bombing, the averted terrorist plot, and the prosecuted corrupt official. OTD works extensively with our partners at the local, state, national, and international levels.
Operational Technology Division (OTD) mission: To deliver technology-based solutions that enable and enhance the FBI’s intelligence, national security, and law enforcement operations.
OTD vision: To counter current and emerging threats through applied technology.
OTD leadership: Assistant Director Steven Richardson
OTD customers: FBI personnel based in the U.S. and abroad; federal, state, and local law enforcement; foreign law enforcement; U.S. Intelligence Community; and U.S. Attorneys offices.
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.
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.
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. TRU supports major events including, but not limited to, the Super Bowl and the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
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.
OTD offers a variety of internship opportunities for college students interested in careers that combine the fields of high-technology and law enforcement. Students who qualify through the FBI’s Honors Internship Program can work at either the OTD facility in Quantico, Virginia or at a field office. This is a unique opportunity to serve your country while gaining valuable experience in a cutting-edge work environment.
How do I apply?
Are these paid internships?
Yes. Undergraduate honors interns are paid at the GS-6 grade level on the government pay scale, while graduate honors interns are paid at the GS-7 level.
Is a security clearance required?
Yes. Selected candidates must go through a full background investigation in order to obtain a clearance. In addition, you will go through a security interview, pre-employment polygraph, urinalysis testing, and fingerprinting.
How long does the background investigation take?
That will depend on a number of variables, such as the accuracy and thoroughness of the completed background document; the extent of your foreign travel or time living abroad; and the verification of any inconsistencies in the application or investigative process.
For more information on FBI internships, visit the FBI Jobs website.