FBI Outreach Initiatives
Chasing the Dragon:
An opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic is sweeping the country, impacting all segments of society. To help raise awareness of this epidemic and to help educate young people on the dangers of addiction, the FBI and DEA have released the documentary Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, a compilation of heart-wrenching first-person accounts by addicts and family members of addicts about their experiences. Also available below are video clips of law enforcement officers and prosecutors who often confront the tragic outcomes of opioid addiction during the course of their jobs.
Don’t be a Puppet:
Today like never before, violent extremists of all kinds are deliberately targeting our nation’s young people with poisonous propaganda—especially in cyberspace, where they are flooding social media with slick recruiting videos and persuasive calls to action. The FBI’s investigations and analysis indicate that these efforts—to a disturbing degree—are succeeding. Across America, there are young people who are embracing various forms of violent extremism, actively communicating with violent extremists, and helping with recruitment. Without warning, many teens are joining violent extremist groups in the U.S. or leaving their families and traveling to war zones thousands of miles away to enlist in violent extremist movements—some are even plotting and launching attacks in the U.S. and overseas.
Overview of the Don’t Be a Puppet Website
Teens earn an FBI certificate by completing all of the activities in the five sections outlined below. Throughout the site, including during an introductory video by FBI Director James Comey, it is emphasized that free speech and religious liberty are protected under the Constitution of the United States and that having extremist beliefs is legal unless violence is directly advocated or used.
Section 1: What is Violent Extremism?
- Defines violent extremism and explores five of its key elements: blame, distorted principles, symbols, propaganda, and group think.
- Explains how violent extremists use their warped characteristics to manipulate, radicalize, or recruit others to embrace their ideologies.
Section 2: Why Do People Become Violent Extremists?
- Examines the key reasons why people embrace violent extremism and its ideologically motivated grievances.
- Makes teens aware of the arguments violent extremists use to justify their actions as well as highlights unmet needs and personal problems that violent extremists might exploit in their recruitment efforts.
Section 3: What are Known Violent Extremist Groups?
- Provides an overview of several violent extremist groups—typically called international terrorist organizations—and key domestic violent extremism ideologies.
- Helps teens recognize and reject these organizations and their belief systems in case they are contacted or encounter violent propaganda on the Internet.
Section 4: How Do Violent Extremists Make Contact?
- Explores the various ways—such as social media, cell phones, and flyers—that violent extremists try to reach young people.
- Informs teens of the potential dangers of different online and offline communications channels and how these tools could be used for recruitment.
Section 5: Who Do Violent Extremists Affect?
- Features videos of survivors of violent extremism and hate crime, who share their personal stories on how they have been impacted.
- Gives teens insight into the very real pain, suffering, and losses caused by these acts of violence.
Law enforcement at all levels has the legal authority to intercept and access communications and information pursuant to court orders, but it often lacks the technical ability to carry out those orders because of a fundamental shift in communications services and technologies. This scenario is often called the “Going Dark” problem.
Law enforcement faces two distinct Going Dark challenges. The first concerns real-time court-ordered interception of data in motion, such as phone calls, e-mail, text messages, and chat sessions. The second challenge concerns “data at rest”—court-ordered access to data stored on devices, like e-mail, text messages, photos, and videos. Both real-time communications and stored data are increasingly difficult for law enforcement to obtain with a court order or warrant. This is eroding law enforcement’s ability to quickly obtain valuable information that may be used to identity and save victims, reveal evidence to convict perpetrators, or exonerate the innocent.
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