FBI taps former IBM exec to run IT

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday named former IBM executive Bob Dies to head up its Information Resources division, which oversees the development and maintenance of the law enforcement agency's computer systems and communications networks.

Dies, 54, was given the title of assistant director at the FBI. Agency Director Louis Freeh said in a statement that Dies "is the right man at the right time for perhaps the toughest job in the FBI today." Freeh added that the FBI faces the need to "modernise our own information systems at the same time we are responding to crimes committed on and with rapidly developing technologies."

The top priority facing Dies is the design and deployment of a project called eFBI that's aimed at upgrading the agency's electronic record keeping, information sharing and data analysis capabilities. The project, which remains in the design and congressional approval stage, would provide technology that FBI officials say is needed for activities such as counterterrorism, counterespionage and investigations of cybercrime and child pornography.

Dies spent 30 years at IBM before leaving the computer maker last year. He became a corporate vice president in 1990 and held successive positions as general manager of IBM's AS/400, network computer and network/PC divisions. He also was executive vice president of industries and services at the company.

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