The FBI Turns to Fax Technology for Secure FOIA Requests

Feb 10, 2017

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it will implement a new policy in March to no longer accept Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests via email. Instead, people requesting public records must use fax machines and standard mail in order to communicate with the agency’s records management division. The FBI will also accept FOIA requests through an online portal.

Many think it is a step backwards for the FBI to use “archaic technologies” such as fax. Here at etherFAX, we applaud the FBI’s decision to use one of the most trusted document delivery methods available today. Communicating via email has many severe disadvantages and vulnerabilities including imminent threats of cyber hacking and hard-drive or server crashes which can compromise sensitive and confidential data. Despite its antiquated image, fax can ensure security, compliance and guaranteed delivery of business-critical information more than email.

While fax transmissions are hampered by limitations associated with traditional PSTN and telephony infrastructure, etherFAX offers a different approach. Leveraging the cloud, etherFAX eliminates the need for outdated fax boards, media gateways, and the complex telephony stack. It delivers all faxes via HTTPS.

According to the Intel Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), cybercrime has cost the United States economy $100 billion annually. Utilizing advanced fax technologies, such as etherFAX’s Secure Exchange Network (SEN), government agencies are able to send and receive unstructured data securely between devices and applications. Leveraging military-grade encryption and hybrid cloud technology, etherFAX provides 100 percent secure delivery of high-resolution color documents. It fully supports every major fax server, multi-function devices, and fax-enabled applications. Offering ultra-fast transmission speeds, etherFAX enables organizations to send 100-page documents in seconds.

As the FBI cannot afford any downtime or delivery issues, it needs a reliable fax solution to ensure business continuity. The etherFAX Disaster Recovery (DR) ensures fax communications are operational at all times by offering a vast array of virtual ports that are readily available to send and receive faxes via the cloud without disruption. etherFAX DR maintains uptime when existing telephony equipment fails, such as fax boards, PRI lines, servers and applications.

While the FBI just recently decided to revert back to fax, they are in good company. The Central Intelligence Agency ditched email years ago and currently relies on fax for secure communications and FOIA requests.

Fax technology is no longer synonymous with slow machines, phone lines, paper and toner. With etherFAX, it is cloud-based and virtual. etherFAX continues to revolutionize fax and provides new ways for government, healthcare, and financial organizations to securely send and receive information from a virtually unlimited number of endpoints and devices.

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