The Hip Face of the FBI

Facebook and Twitter have been mainstream for quite some time, but it’s still surprising – and refreshing – to see the stuffy FBI embrace next generation comms. I mean, this comes from an agency whose files have yet to be digitized, a task that would require a veritable army of summer interns.

Ok – it’s not 100% fair to depict the FBI as totally behind the times. Over the past few years, they have rolled out a number of online initiatives, including an email alert service and news feeds, podcasts and widgets. They’ve made it easier for the public to submit tips on crime and terrorism, helping the FBI to track down fugitives and missing children.

The FBI’s just announced its next step in the techie trend – presence on interactive social media sites.

•    Facebook: follow news, check out photos and videos, and become a fan of the FBI
•    YouTube: watch videos and connect back to the main FBI website for job postings and other content
•    Twitter: become a follower of the FBI and receive tweets on breaking news and other useful info

FBI's facebook page

John Miller, the head of the FBI’s public affairs, says: “To reach out to the public, we need to be where people are – and we know tens of millions of people spend their time in social media sites. Adding our fugitives, missing kids, threat and scam warnings, and other information into these sites is an extension of what we’ve done for decades – enlisting the help and support of concerned citizens around the globe to keep communities safer.”

Seems like a great idea, Mr. Miller.

In addition to the above, an FBI Most Wanted application has been built for the iPhone. More than 350,000 people in 80 countries have downloaded the app since it launched in February. Version 2 of the app will use GPS data to allow users to submit tips directly to their local FBI offices. Another app currently still in development stages will focus on missing kids, sharing alerts, pics and data to help in the location of missing children.

Props to the FBI for making it extra easy for people to stay connected and help out.

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Posted in: Spy Gadgets, Spy News


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