Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Freeh Adresses Role of Technology

Freeh Adresses Role of Technology

By Tim Sullivan Hoya Staff Writer

The most significant development in crime and enforcement has been the boom in information technology, according to FBI Director Louis J. Freeh in a lecture delivered Wednesday in the ICC Auditorium. This change has made it much easier for criminals to execute crimes and not get caught, he said.

Freeh said there has been “a dramatic shift in the types of threats the FBI faces.”

“The global economy, ease of transportation and new technologies makes international crime as easy to commit as a local crime,” Freeh said. Evidence of the new types of challenges facing FBI agents is the fact that new agents not only receive a badge and a gun, but also a laptop computer, Freeh said.

Another change with widespread ramifications for the international criminal community came with the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union. “While at one time we had focused on one enemy [the USSR], we now face many more decentralized enemies,” Freeh said.

Freeh also noted another change in FBI policy. “Intelligence and enforcement are coming together in new ways,” referring to the FBI and CIA’s role in places such as Kosovo. “[CIA Director] George Tenet [SFS ’68] and I have brought two agencies with traditionally different jurisdictions closer together,” Freeh said.

Freeh also addressed the perils of increasing the role of the FBI in international affairs. “It is essential that as we expand…we make sure that we are operating with moral responsibility under our rule of law,” Freeh said.

One of the ways the FBI has addressed this problem is by training foreign agents in the U.S. style of law enforcement. According to Freeh, the FBI has established such training facilities in Budapest and Bangkok. Another way the FBI attempts to maintain morality in its agents is by bringing new agents to The United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. to remind officers “of the powers of a malevolent police force,” Freeh said.

After speaking for approximately one hour, director Freeh opened the floor to questions, which ranged from FBI involvement in Kosovo to the changing role of technology in law enforcement.

Student reaction to the speech was mixed. “I liked how he described the new problems with jurisdiction resulting from so many Internet crimes; I think he addressed that topic well,” said Sarah Goldstein (COL ’03).

Other students were less enthusiastic about the lecture. “I don’t think it addressed the topic of the lecture. For such a long speech, I feel he could have gone more in-depth into the role of the U.S. in international terrorism,” said Gilbert Cruz (COL ’03).

Freeh spoke before an audience composed of students, faculty and administrators, including University President Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., who offered the welcoming remarks for the lecture. Freeh’s wife and three of his six children were also in attendance

Freeh did not comment on the ongoing investigation of the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990, which went down last week in the Atlantic Ocean. The FBI is expected to take over the investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board as early as tomorrow amidst reports that members of the flight crew intentionally downed the plane.

Freeh was appointed director of the FBI by President Clinton (SFS ’68) in 1993. Before his nomination, he served as a U.S. District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York, an FBI Special Agent and a member of the Justice Department.

The lecture, entitled “The Challenge of International Crime and Terrorism,” was presented as part of the William V. O’Brien Lecture in International Law and Morality.

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