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FBI History
History of the FBI

Rise of a Wired World: 1993-2001

Louis J. Freeh was sworn in as Director of the FBI on September 1, 1993. Freeh had served as an FBI Agent from 1975 to 1981. He was appointed U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York in 1991 and served on that Court until he was nominated to be Director of the FBI during the summer of 1993.

Director Freeh began his tenure with a clearly articulated agenda to respond to deepening and evolving crime problems both at home and abroad. During the summer of 1994, determined to forge strong, international police partnerships, Director Freeh led a delegation of high-level diplomatic and federal law enforcement officials to meet with senior officials of 11 European nations on international crime issues. At the outset, Richard Holbrooke, US Ambassador to Germany, declared, "This is the evolving American foreign policy. Law Enforcement is at the forefront of our national interest in this part of the world." On July 4, 1994, Director Freeh officially announced the opening of an FBI Legal Attaché Office in Moscow, the old seat of Russian communism.

This is a photograph of the International Law Enforcement Academy in 1995Subsequently, the Bureau sharpened joint efforts against organized crime, drug-trafficking, and terrorism, and it expanded standardized training of international police in investigative processes, ethics, leadership, and professionalism, including in April 1995, the opening of the first International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest, Hungary (pictured left). The Bureau also expanded its international presence by opening 21 new Legal Attaché offices overseas.

The Bureau also mounted aggressive programs in specific criminal areas. During the years 1993 through 1996, these efforts paid off in successful investigations as diverse as the World Trade Center bombing in New York City (1993); the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City (1995); the UNABOMBER Theodore Kaczynski (1996); and the arrests of Mexican drug-trafficker Juan Garcia-Abrego (1996) and Russian crime boss Vyacheslav Ivankov (1995). In response to public outcry over the tragedies at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the Bureau formed the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) to deal more efficiently with crisis situations.

As computers and access to the Internet became commonplace in homes across the United States, the FBI began to put in place measures to address crime in cyberspace. It created the Computer Investigations and Infrastructure Threat Assessment Center (CITAC) to respond to physical and cyber attacks against US infrastructure. The FBI has also played a crucial role in the investigation and prevention of computer crimes. In 1991, the FBI's Computer Analysis and Response Teams (CART) began to provide investigators with the technical expertise necessary to obtain evidence from the computers of suspects. In 1998, the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) was created to monitor the dissemination of computer viruses, worms, and other malicious programs and to warn government and business computer users of these dangers. In addition, having begun in the FBI's Baltimore Division in 1995, but branching out to most FBI field offices, the Bureau's Innocent Images Program has successfully identified and stopped large numbers of pedophiles who have used the Internet to purvey child pornography and to lure children into situations where they could be harmed.

Between 1993 and 2001, the FBI's mission and resources expanded to address the increasingly international nature of crime in US localities. The FBI's budget grew by more than $1.27 billion as the Bureau hired 5,029 new Agents and more than 4,000 new Support Personnel. To prepare the FBI for both domestic and foreign lawlessness in the 21st century, Director Freeh spearheaded the effort by law enforcement to ensure its ability to carry out court-authorized electronic surveillance in major investigations affecting public safety and national security in the face of telecommunications advances. Important legislation passed during this period included the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) of 1994, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. Director Freeh left the Bureau in June 2001 for a position in the private sector.

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