4 November 2003
Cryptome received a visit today from FBI Special Agents Todd Renner and Christopher Kelly from the FBI Counterterrorism Office in New York, 26 Federal Plaza, telephone (212) 384-1000. Both agents presented official ID and business cards.
SA Renner said that a person had reported Cryptome as a source of information that could be used to harm the United States. He said Cryptome website had been examined and nothing on the site was illegal but information there might be used for harmful purposes. He noted that information in the Cryptome CDs might wind up in the wrong hands.
SA Renner said there is no investigation of Cryptome, that the purpose of the visit was to ask Cryptome to report to the FBI any information which Cryptome "had a gut feeling" could be a threat to the nation.
There was a discussion of the purpose of Cryptome, freedom of information, the need for more public information on threats to the nation and what citizens can do to protect themselves, the need for more public information about how the FBI functions in the field and the intention of visits like the one today.
SA Kelly said such visits are increasingly common as the FBI works to improve the reporting of information about threats to the US.
Cryptome asked what will happen as a result of the visit. SA Renner said he will write a report of the visit.
Cryptome said it will publish a report of the visit, including naming the agents. Both agents expressed concerned about their names being published for that might lead to a threat against them and or their families -- one saying that due to copious personal databases any name can be traced.
Cryptome said the reason for publishing names of agents is so that anyone can verify that a contact has been made, and that more public information is needed on how FBI agents function and who they are.
Cryptome noted that on a previous occasion FBI agents had protested publication of their names by Cryptome.
Cryptome did not agree to report anything to the FBI that is not available on the website.