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DOJ OIG Releases Management Advisory Memorandum of Concerns with the Absence of a Policy Regarding FBI Employees Emailing Child Sexual Abuse Material and Other Contraband

Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a Management Advisory Memorandum to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with notification of concerns with the absence of an FBI policy regarding the transmission of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and other contraband material over email by FBI employees. CSAM is a term used by the FBI to refer to child pornography.

The OIG identified these concerns in connection with an investigation of an FBI employee who used a secure FBI email system to send images the FBI employee believed to contain probable CSAM to a prosecutor with whom the FBI employee was handling a criminal case. While several FBI employees, including the subject of the OIG investigation, told the OIG that CSAM should not be transmitted over email, they could not point to a written policy that specifically prohibited such conduct. After reviewing a draft of the OIG’s memorandum, the FBI informed the OIG that it is in the process of deploying new methods to transmit and share CSAM and other sensitive material securely among law enforcement partners.

The DOJ OIG made one recommendation to the FBI to address the concerns we identified. The FBI agreed with the recommendation.

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