Last cycle the FBI had a staff of around 11,740 personnel. The identity of FBI officers, apart from the Director-General, remain an official secret.
The special investigative powers available to FBI officers under warrant signed by the Attorney-General include:
- interception of telecommunications;
- examination of postal and delivery articles;
- use of clandestine surveillance and tracking devices;
- remote access to computers, including alteration of data to conceal that access;
- covert entry to and search of premises, including the removal or copying of any record or thing found therein; and
- conduct of an ordinary or frisk search of a person if they are at or near a premises specified in the warrant.
The Director-General also has the power to independently issue a warrant should a serious security situation arise and a warrant requested of the Attorney-General has not yet been granted.
An FBI officer may also, without warrant, ask an operator of an aircraft or space vessel questions about the aircraft or vessel, its cargo, crew, passengers, stores or voyage; and to produce supporting documents relating to these questions.
Special terrorism investigative powers
When investigating terrorism, the Director-General may also seek a warrant from an independent judicial authority to allow:
- the compulsory questioning of suspects;
- the detention of suspects by the Criminal Investigative Agency, and their subsequent interrogation by FBI officers;
- ordinary, frisk or strip search of suspects by CIA officers upon their detainment;
- the seizure of passports; and
- the prevention of suspects leaving the Empire.
The Director-General is not empowered to independently issue a warrant in relation to the investigation of terrorism.
Immunity from prosecution
While The Act does not define any activities specifically to be legal, that is, to grant immunity for any specific crime, it does provide exceptions that will not be granted immunity. Section 705k (1) defines these activities as not being immune from liability for special intelligence conduct during special intelligence operations. That is to say, a FBI operative would be deemed to have committed a crime if they were to participate in any of the following activities under any circumstances:
- an activity that causes death or serious injury
- if the activity involves the commission of a sexual offence against any person
- if the activity causes significant loss of, or serious damage to property
Collection of foreign intelligence
The FBI also has the power to collect foreign intelligence at the request of the Minister for Foreign Affairs or the Minister for Defence. Known as Joint Intelligence Operations, and usually conducted in concert with the Allied Secret Intelligence Service, the purpose of these operations is the gathering of security intelligence on and from foreign officials, organisations or companies.
Because of the nature of its work, FBI does not make details of its activities public and law prevents the identities of FBI officers from being disclosed. The FBI and the Government say that operational measures ensuring the legality of FBI operations have been established.
The FBI briefs the Attorney General on all major issues affecting security and he/she is also informed of operations when considering granting warrants enabling the special investigative powers the FBI. Furthermore, the Attorney-General issues guidelines with respect to the conduct of FBI investigations relating to politically motivated violence and its functions of obtaining intelligence relevant to security.
The FBI reports to several governmental and senatorial committees dealing with security, legislative and financial matters. This includes the Senatorial Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. A classified annual report is also provided to the government, an unclassified edited version of which is tabled in the Imperal Senate.
The Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security was established to provide additional oversight of Australia’s security and intelligence agencies. The Inspector-General has complete access to all FBI records and has a range of inquisitorial powers.
Relationships with foreign agencies and services
The Empire’s intelligence and security agencies maintain close working relationships with the foreign and domestic intelligence and security agencies of other allied planetary systems. As of this report, the FBI has established liaison relationships with 311 authorities in 120 systems.