FBI on look-out for foreign government hackers

Tuesday, 11 November 2003, 2:54 PM EST

How seriously does the U.S. government take computer intrusion? Seriously enough for the threat of foreign hacking to take a prominent role in new rules governing the FBI's national security investigations issued by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft this week.

Ashcroft released a new version of the "Guidelines for FBI National Security Investigations and Foreign Intelligence Collection" on Wednesday. The new guidelines, billed as a response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, permit the Bureau to engage in the "proactive collection of information on threats to the national security," displacing an older policy that obliged the FBI to have a specific investigative purpose before collecting information on individuals or groups.

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