Press Release

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2008

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI Surpasses 100,000 Subscriptions to E-Mail Alerts

An FBI service that sends out e-mail alerts when breaking news and information is posted on its national and local Internet websites recently reached two key milestones: more than 100,000 subscribers and more than 75 million total e-mails sent.

The service—launched in October 2006—provides updates on terrorist threats, missing kids, wanted fugitives, emerging scams, major cases, and more than 170 other topics directly to the personal computers, laptops, or wireless devices of subscribers. About 200 people sign up daily, and most subscribe to multiple items.

“These alerts put our breaking news and public safety information at the fingertips of those who want it and need it, everyone from concerned citizens and the news media to our government and private sector partners,” said John Miller, Assistant Director of the FBI Office of Public Affairs. “It’s a fast, convenient, and effective way to keep people informed, especially in the event of a crisis.”

The most popular categories include:

  • New e-scams and warnings: 50,000 subscribers
  • Common fraud schemes; 48,000 subscribers
  • Top Ten fugitives: 42,000 subscribers
  • Crime alerts: 42,000 subscribers
  • Headline news: 40,000 subscribers
  • Crime prevention tips: 40,000 subscribers

In addition to a range of national subjects, visitors can subscribe to localized updates—press releases, headlines, and wanted fugitives—from their nearest FBI field office.

Signing up is easy. Just click on the red envelope icons found throughout the FBI’s main website and on the websites of its 56 field offices nationwide. No personal information is required, just an e-mail address where the alerts will be sent. The sign-up process opens a full menu of subscription options. When new information is posted, the FBI e-mails subscribers a summary and a link to the page that has been updated. Alerts can also be tailored to arrive in daily, weekly, or monthly digests.

The FBI offers other technologies to keep the public informed. In the summer of 2006, it launched news feeds via RSS technology on its website; the FBI currently offers 17 such feeds. In 2007, the Bureau introduced widgets that can be posted on personal web sites and blogs. The FBI also offers three podcasts, with more on the way.

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