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The FBI’s College and University Security Effort

Print version (pdf)

The College and University Security Effort (CAUSE) is a partnership effort between the FBI and academia that seeks to protect research, products, and personnel from foreign intelligence threats. It falls under the FBI’s Academic Alliance Program.

No one likes to be a victim of crime. Understanding the threats and tactics of criminals as well as the laws and resources that exist to protect individuals and organizations is the key to preventing crime, and the FBI is eager to share that knowledge!

If invited, the FBI will collaborate with a college or university on a broad array of areas relating to:

  • Cyber security
  • The safety and integrity of higher education in the United States
  • Intellectual property developed through U.S. university research
  • Researchers’ ability to get first-to-market with their ideas
  • Sensitive and classified research (i.e. is export controlled or has publication restrictions)
  • WMD related research or incidents (i.e. facilities that handle radiation or bio agents, and the use of Select Agents)
  • Keeping students and professors from being recruited by foreign intelligence services or terrorist organizations
  • Personal and sensitive information (identity theft, fraud, stolen research, etc.)
  • Campus safety and safety awareness of U.S. students studying abroad
  • Animal rights and Eco rights terrorism

The FBI is also willing to:

  • Provide awareness training to students, researchers, and administrators
  • Provide brochures and literature about threats
  • Serve as a resource for questions and concerns (such as matters involving export controls)
  • Provide specific threat information, if available
  • Provide invitations to regional counterintelligence meetings with the other academics, businesses and U.S. intelligence community personnel

What the FBI would like in return:

  • Introduction to departments or personnel on campus that could benefit from our message (lab directors, technology researchers, export control office, study abroad office, international student affairs, technology transfer office, information technology administrators, etc.)
  • Implementation of more robust security procedures, if needed
  • Details of suspicious incidents
  • Access to subject matter experts to aid FBI investigations
  • Willingness to work with the FBI on security concerns
  • Tips and feedback about our efforts

For your information: There is a National Security Higher Education Advisory Board (NSHEAB) that was created in September 2005 by FBI Director Robert Mueller in order to bridge historical gaps between the U.S. Intelligence Community and academe with respect to national security issues. It is comprised of approximately 25 presidents and chancellors who represent higher education institutions. The NSHEAB promotes cooperation and understanding between higher education and several government agencies to include the FBI.

For more information, contact your local FBI office and ask for the Strategic Partnership Coordinator.