Tue. May 26th, 2020

Government Shutdown Is Damaging Cyber Investigations

According to the FBI  the government shutdown is impeding their investigations, including cybersecurity probes.

On Tuesday FBI agents issued a report called “Voice From The Field”, which anonymously describes how the government shutdown has affected investigations and their personal lives. They also contend the shutdown is posing risk to national security.

Special agents have continued to work without pay because they are deemed essential. They have not been paid and this causing problems especially agents who live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Cybersecurity experts have warned that adversaries may see the government shutdown as an opportunity to strike.

The government shutdown as put financial strain on government employees. President Donald Trump wants Congress to include $5.7 billion in a spending bill to fund a wall on the Mexican border; Democrats express that the money could be used for drones, fortified ports of entry and other security measures.

Agents Have No Funds for Tipsters

An report released  by FBIAA states that two agents addressed how the shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, 2018, and affects some 800,000 federal workers, is impacting cybersecurity. According to one agent, there are no funds available to pay informants.

Subpoena Delays

The FBI’s cybersecurity work depends on agents being able to obtain warrants and subpoenas, especially those that are time-sensitive. During the government shutdown, the federal court system is still handling criminal cases, but civil litigation that is considered not critical to life or property has been postponed. Approximately 113,000  Department of Justice employees are furloughed.

An agent reported that there was no money to pay for grand jury subpoenas; however, only emergency subpoenas are being issued, and any non-emergency subpoenas will not be processed until after the shutdown. The cease of subpoenas is causing affected investigations to be put on hold until the shutdown ends.

Private Sector Paychecks Beckon

Often FBI agents to move on to private cybersecurity companies after their government service ends. Furthermore, this move to the private sector can mean significant pay rises, based on agents’ particular skills and expertise.