Federal Security Bureau
G-men. Feds. The Man. Society has always had colorful names for federal law enforcement agents. The Strange Aeon is no different. Federal agents are the subject of movies and television shows and the Federal Security Bureau is one of the few government agencies generally regarded as the “good guys.”
The FSB is charged with policing criminal matters of federal importance, including organized crime, drugs, and contraband. They also deal with crimes occurring across local law enforcement jurisdictions. The agency has nine main divisions, which are:
- The Behaviourial Analysis Unit (BAU) of the Federal Security Bureau provides assistance to law enforcement agencies by digging into the behavioral aspects of complex and time-sensitive crimes. This division investigates both behavioral and investigative aspects of crimes, interpreting offender behavior so that law enforcement agents can have a better idea with whom they are dealing. The BAU deals with multiple murderers, serial killers, child abduction, school and work-place violence, corruption, bombing, and arson.
- Closely related to the BAU, the Federal Security Bureau also maintains the Federal Law Enforcement Database. This system provides extensive information on both solved and unsolved crimes throughout history, updates local law enforcement agencies with the latest information and the latest techniques, and generally keeps law enforcement in close contact throughout the New Earth Government.
- The Critical Incident Response Division (CIRD) responds to national emergencies from a civilian standpoint. They work closely with the military to coordinate civilian emergency services and communication to deal with any kind of crisis, from terrorist bombings to national disasters to Migou or Cult attacks. They are especially valued in cities and arcologies near encroaching enemy lines, such as those in Eastern Europe, China, and the Northern Pacific coast of North America.
- The Counterterrorism Division (CTD) deals with any and all things related to terrorism inside the New Earth Government. They conduct surveillance of possible terrorists and monitor transmissions throughout society. The laws restricting wiretapping and privacy of electronic transmission are loose at best and the FSB has programs that log nearly all calls and e-mails throughout the NEG – just in case. If a terrorist incident occurs, it is the CTD that responds to the threat and who is also responsible for the rescue of hostages.
- The Fraud Investigations Division (FID) keeps watch over the ever more clever world of fraud. They investigate identity theft and create new methodologies to prevent it. The FID also manages counterfeiting, though these investigations take little of their time as hard currency is not as common as it once was. Computer fraud, insurance fraud, bank fraud, and the like make up the rest of their duties.
- The Organised Crime Division (OCD) fights against national/ transnational criminal organizations. Any group with an organised structure and a broad base of operations falls under the purview of these “gang-busters.” Sometimes the OCD’s duties take them into contact with those who traffic in the arcane underground, in which case they form joint task forces with the Office of Internal Security.
- The Controlled Substance Division (CSD) deal with all crimes relating to the consumption, sale, and distribution of illegal drugs. Many drugs have been legalized and regulated by the New Earth Government, but there are still those that present a truly destructive path, including methamphetamines and opiates like heroin, that many hopeless citizens want to numb their pain. The CSD primarily goes after the traffickers of such substances, leaving the street dealers and individual users to local law enforcement.
- The Violent Crime Investigations Division (VCID) investigates murders, hate crimes, and the like that occur across regional boundaries or that may be the work of serial offenders. These types of crimes are disturbingly prevalent in the Strange Aeon and they have become ever more disquieting. The VCID undoubtedly has the darkest duty within the Federal Security Bureau besides the Sectarian Crimes Division.
- The biggest and most dire duty of the FSB revolves around the Sectarian Crimes Division (SCD), the part of the agency charged with rooting out cult influence within the New Earth Government. The Sectarian Crimes Division employs a great number of undercover and field agents. As part of the Sectarian Crimes Division, the FSB maintains a Deprogramming Unit. The hard-nosed psychiatrists of the DPU help brainwashed cultists come back to the world and once again live a normal life.
- The Restricted Technology Enforcement (RTE) division enforces the laws regulating special and dangerous types of technology, including arcanotechnology, artificial intelligence, cloning, and nanotechnology. They see that government contractors and those that deal in the legal side of these technologies obey regulation, and prosecute the criminals that attempt to abuse them or the rogue scientists who try to push the envelope too far.
The various divisions of the Federal Security Bureau work closely with the Ministry of Information. The Ministry, among other duties, tracks all purchases within the New Earth Government and correlates such data into statistical categories. Their computers flag areas which indicate a high probability of criminal activity and forward them to the agency. While most serious criminals purchase things on the black market, this tactic helps the Federal Security Bureau deal with the threats posed by dangerous idiots and the misguided.
The FSB works on a couple of levels. The first is with the standard response teams that react to events in progress, most often criminal investigations. The second is their proactive investigations, which are often longer term and ongoing. Involving serious research and undercover agents, these investigations try to root out deeper criminal influence including organized crime and cults. At any given time, the Federal Security Bureau has thousands of undercover agents in the field trying desperately to stop the hemorrhaging within society.
In general, the culture within the FSB is one of integrity. They are the most visible protective branch of the government besides the military and that is a duty they take very seriously. Their behavior not only has an impact on the safety of the New Earth Government’s citizens, it also impacts their morale. Agents of the FSB tend to be clean cut, well-mannered, and dedicated – the picture of government service – and they treat the public with dignity and respect.
The Federal Security Bureau pays its agents according to a government service (GS) ranking system, like most government agencies. The agency is overseen by a variety of directors and managers, who occupy the GS-14 and GS-15 ranks, while agents typically occupy GS-10 to GS-13 ranks. Field operations are overseen by a Special Agent-in-Charge (SAIC) and authority is given on an individual case basis. However, senior agents within the agency are typically the first to be given authority.
Unlike the Office of Internal Security, the Federal Security Bureau must obey all civil laws, including due process, and laws regulating criminal investigation. They investigate in all the ways one would expect a high-powered law enforcement agency to investigate, but they cannot entrap, they require warrants, and must have reasonable evidence to support arrests. The one thing that they have room to wiggle within is when it comes to surveillance – or spying on the citizens of the New Earth Government.
Even though the Office of Internal Security has much more leeway in their pursuit of law enforcement and is capable of bringing much more force to bear, most citizens pay little attention because their lives don’t come into contact with the mystical side of things. The Federal Security Bureau is not so lucky. Since their broad law enforcement powers technically put them in touch with every citizen of the New Earth Government, there are those who actively question their motives and publicly speak out against them. These dissidents claim that the FSB is an Orwellian “big brother” watching the every move of the population the agency “protects.” They believe that the Federal Security Bureau goes too far, that no one agreed to give up those kind of daily rights in order to stay “safe,” that they profile people and unjustly arrest those who fit within them, that the arcology security measures they help create also keep tabs on the comings and goings of people, and more. Such dissidents claim that privacy is unjustly a thing of the past. Fortunately for them, such criticism does not fall under the sedition laws of the New Earth Government as it does not directly attack war policy.