• Transcript
  • Show Notes

In this episode of Cyber Space, James Murray, Director of the U.S. Secret Service, speaks with John Carlin about his professional journey to lead that agency.  They also discuss Murray’s work in counterterrorism post-9/11, how all government institutions can be better equipped to combat cyber crimes and the mission of the Secret Service since its creation in 1865. 

Cyber Space is the newest podcast for members of CAFE Insider. Every other Friday, John Carlin, who led the Justice Department’s National Security Division, explores issues at the intersection of technology, policy, and law with leaders who’ve made an impact in the world of cybersecurity. 

Cyber Space is produced by CAFE Studios. 

Executive Producer: Tamara Sepper; Senior Editorial Producer: Adam Waller; Audio Producer: Nat Weiner; Editorial Producers: Noa Azulai, Sam Ozer-Staton. 

Cyber Space is produced in association with Brooklyn Law School’s BLIP clinic. Special thanks to Amanda Kadish, Isabel Agosto, Jaqueline Green and Motty Rivkin

REFERENCES & SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS

  • Eli Watkins, “Trump naming career Secret Service member to take over agency,” CNN, 4/8/2019
  • FAQ, Secretservice.gov
  • Patrice Taddonio, “Watching ‘The Looming Tower’? Meet the Real John O’Neill,” PBS, 3/9/2018
  • Sharon Crenson, “How New York Prepared for Y2K,” Washington Post, 10/31/1999
  • The Protective Mission, Secretservice.gov
  • Erin Blakemore, “No Counterfeits: The History of the Secret Service,” TIME.com, 3/14/2015
  • Donald J. Mihalek, “Why the Secret Service moved to DHS after 9/11, and now may be moved back to Treasury,” ABC News, 5/29/2020
  • “41 CFR § 302-9.1 – What is a ‘privately owned vehicle (POV)’?” Cornell Legal Information Institute
  • “United States Secret Service Electronic crimes Task Force,” DHS.gov
  • “Secret Service announces the creation of the Cyber Fraud Task Force,” Secretservice.gov
  • Ellen Nakashima, Nick Miroff, “Trump fires top DHS official who refuted his claims that the election was rigged,” Washington Post, 11/17/2020
  • Ransomware Guidance and Resources, CISA.gov
  • Secret Service Announces Cyber Investigations Advisory Board, Secretservice.gov, 9/9/2020
  • “Fact Sheet: DHS is Taking on COVID-19 Related Fraud,” DHS.com, 4/24/2020
  • Colleen Long, “Secret Service may leave Homeland Security, rejoin Treasury,” Federal News Network, 2/7/2020
  • “Feinstein, Graham Introduce Bill to Support Secret Service Investigations, Accountability,” Judiciary.Senate.Gov, 5/6/2020
  • Tom Temin, “Secret Service stepping up in fight against cyber-enabled financial crimes,” Federal News Network, 9/24/2020
  • Jake Tapper, “Trump is removing US Secret Service director,” CNN.com, 4/8/2019

The Secret Service was founded in 1865. What does it really do now?

The Secret Service appears often in the daily life of Americans—in breaking news, in the background of photographs of the president, behind tinted black Suburban windows. But to many, the complexity of its purpose and history remain unknown. 

The Service was created in 1865 to investigate instances of counterfeit currency, a job that, along with protecting the president, is still central to its mission. And according to Director James Murray, there are still questions about where in government the unique agency belongs. From responding to terrorism threats in the years following the September 11th attacks, to developing a cybersecurity training program, the Secret Service has evolved its responsibilities to meet the changing threat landscape. But where does the agency go from here?

The following transcript has been edited for clarity.

 

John Carlin:

From CAFE, welcome to Cyber Space. I’m your host, John Carlin. Every other Friday, I explore issues at the intersection of tech, law and policy with guests who’ve made an impact in the world of cybersecurity. My guest this week is James Murray. In 2019, he became the 26th Director of the US Secret Service. Beyond protecting the president and other high ranking officials, the Secret Service plays a vital role in investigating crimes against the financial infrastructure of the United States. As its leader, Murray is no stranger to the cyber threat. He began his Secret Service career in 1995 as a special agent in New York Field Office, where he conducted cyber-enabled financial crimes investigations. Great to have you here this afternoon. And thought we’d start a little bit about how you got into government service in the first place. Why did you join the Secret Service? Did you join the Secret Service originally?

James Murray:

I come from a law enforcement family. My dad was a state trooper in New Jersey. He’d served in the military. So as a young kid growing up, I really had the idea of kind of being of service in some way. Liked the idea of the military, liked the idea of going into law enforcement. When I was in college, I was in ROTC and was fortunate enough to get a scholarship. I was commissioned in the army afterwards, spent some time in the reserves and was looking for, I guess, my federal law enforcement or state law enforcement dream job. I found a job out of college as an investigator with a smaller federal agency and did that for a number of years while I was an applicant with the Secret Service. Nowadays, I’m happy to report our applicant process is probably months long, but I waited more than three years to get hired with the Secret Service and I came on in 1995.

John Carlin:

Well, you know some director guy now who could cut the time down from three years?

James Murray:

We’ve done that. Yeah. If I’ve accomplished nothing else that we’ve achieved. That’s right.

John Carlin:

I remember reading somewhere else that you joined at a time where there were budget cuts and you thought you were going to go overseas.

James Murray:

That’s correct. Yeah. So back then, and I think still now, if you have an ROTC scholarship or obviously a little bit different experience, but if you’re a Service Academy grad, they pay for your education in return for the service you’re going to afford whichever branch of service it is. And so I had expectations of doing four years active, but back then, this is around 1990 or so, there was this act in Congress called the Gramm Rudman Bill. And it was intended to cut down on military spending and one Congressman or the other would get up there and he or she would hold up a toilet seat and say, “The American people are paying $400 for this toilet seat.” And they’ll hold up a hammer and say, “They’re paying $500 for this hammer.” And I guess the way they decided to do it is they started reduction in force and they started with people already in the military and it actually matriculated all the way down to those of us that were cadets.

James Murray:

So I was once intended to go overseas in active duty and instead I got a reserve commission, which meant I went to the army reserves. Disappointing, but not a bad thing, but it was also right around that same time that our country got involved with desert shield and then desert storm. So I did a number of months different overseas duty tours over the course of my time with my former agency. When I came on to the Secret Service back then, and I’m really glad to report this is different now, but back then, you could not be an active member of the military reserves.

John Carlin:

Oh, really?

James Murray:

Yeah. Back then it was something called Accepted Service. So I didn’t have to resign my commission, but I had to basically sign a piece of paper basically saying that I was in the Accepted Service and DOD would need to recognize that and unless Mars is invaded they wouldn’t need to. I joke it’s kind of like the old Magnum, P.I. thing. Magnum, P.I. wears the Hawaiian shirt and the tigers hat, but in his closet as a Navy uniform in case he ever needs it. But after 911, a number of our employees mission support folks, special agents, our uniform division police officers, they all raised concerns that, “Hey, we want to go and serve our country in a different way.” And we found avenues to do that. So happy to report there’s a lot of folks within the Secret Service that are active members of the Army Air Force and Navy Reserves and the National Army Guard.

John Carlin:

That’s great to hear. I got to give the quick shout out to my brother-in-law, who is also the son of a New Jersey state trooper, and also went into the military, but he did Navy. So you guys can find about that later. You ended up joining the Secret Service and folks have one conception of the Secret Service. When you first joined, what did you think it meant to join the Secret Service?

James Murray:

Well, I was aware of the dual mission of the Secret Service of the investigation and the protection mission mandates. And that’s actually what kind of lured me in, but I think back then as I do now I’m pretty… We’re honest about the fact that if you asked nine out of 10 doctors, they’re going to tell you that we know Secret Service does protection. Even though we started out as an investigative agency many, many, many years ago, but I did know coming in that we had this dual mission and that’s what really lured me in and drew me to this agency as opposed to other great agencies that are out there.

John Carlin:

Yeah. And why do you like the dual mission?

James Murray:

I think it’s a little bit of, I won’t say ADD, but you have an answer to my pants. I like the idea of doing a number of different things. You never really do the same thing day to day here in the Secret Service, especially as a newer agent and you come on and you’re an investigator for sure, but you’re doing a whole bunch of different types of things. So you’re doing your primary investigative assignment, you’re always catching a protection assignment here and there, you’re also supporting the recruiting and the hiring efforts by doing background investigations. One of the things they would tell you back then when you’re an applicant is you could come into work in a suit and stand post for the visit of a president and later on a day put on a pair of jeans and dive through dumpsters looking for evidence. And that’s not really too atypical. That kind of stuff really does happen here on the service.

John Carlin:

From suit to trash. So you’ve had that type of day. And I could tell from your voice that you preferred going through the trash than being in the suit, am I reading that wrong?

James Murray:

No, absolutely. Yeah, exactly.

John Carlin:

I read over too that you worked with the FBI, you were on the Joint Terrorism Task Force for a period of time. Tell me about that.

James Murray:

So when I came on in 95, went through the Academy, started in our New York Field Office, which actually when I first started, it was in Six World Trade and then by the time I got out of school, it was actually in Seven World Trade Center, that’s where I did all my time in New York. And back then you would start out and sort of, we used to call it the baby squad. It was a general crimes or treasury trek fraud squad that we worked in. And you would do that for a while to make sure kind of dot your eyes and all that and then you’d move on to another squad. And the next squad I went to was a task force that specialized in a particular kind of fraud that emanated from the Asian and African continent. And I did that for a couple of years.

James Murray:

But the opportunity arose sometime around, I guess, 97, 98 to go over to the FBI and YPD Joint Terrorism Task Force, which at that time there were several in the country, but New York’s was the original one going back about five or six years. And I was assigned over there for a good amount of time as the only Secret Service agent on that task force. So I would venture, I guess, today that New York probably has maybe not quite a dozen, but close to it, but I served on a squad. And in that squad, I had done only FBI agents as partners, but well, New York state troopers, obviously NYPD, ATF, the list goes on and on.

James Murray:

A fantastic assignment, really got into some things I never thought I would be exposed to in the Secret Service. Really opened my eyes to the broader law enforcement community, really enjoyed my time there. But if I’m being candid with you, John, and also convince me that I was in the right place, that the Secret Service was the right fit for me.

John Carlin:

Guy, let me ask about that a little bit. It has been occasionally discussed that there’s some type of rivalry every once in a while between law enforcement agencies and particularly Secret Service and FBI, what was it like being the sole Secret Service guy on a task force? It has a lot of other agencies, as you say, but it’s led by the Bureau.

James Murray:

The first eight FBI agents back about 100 plus years ago actually came over from the Secret Service. And so we’ve had this bond or this connection going back over 100 years. I say it’s a sibling-like bond, but much like siblings we do tend to quibble once in a while. But we have a great relationship, really enjoy working with them. It’s a clean analogy, but I don’t know if it’s offense and defense on football or their offensive defensive were special teams, but really, really enjoy working with them. I always have.

John Carlin:

I did notice you did manage to fit in there though the Secret Service was first.

James Murray:

We were first.

John Carlin:

And the FBI came along. It’s still trying to catch up, right?

James Murray:

That’s right. Yeah.

John Carlin:

So did you want to go over to the Joint Terrorism Task Force and work with them or you just were assigned?

James Murray:

I did. A name you’ll know the very first Secret Service agent to serve on a Joint Terrorism Task Force was a guy named Brian Parr, who you serve with. And he worked on some really, really high profile cases over there in the early ’90s one of them being the Manila Air Conspiracy. He kind of ruined it for all of us because he was so good. We had really big shoes to fill going over. So they had the Bureau leadership there and our partners, they certainly had high expectations of us, but they really did treat us well.

James Murray:

I actually worked the special agent in charge, we call them SICs here in the Secret Service, they call them SACs here. The SAC that I worked for was a gentleman named John O’Neill, who is a bit of a legend in not only the FBI, but then he retired in 2001 and took a job over at, I think, it was Silverman Properties at the World Trade Center. And sadly he died in September of 2001. But a very, very nice man and a Jersey guy like myself. And he was the real deal, so fortunate to work with him and for all those folks over there.

John Carlin:

Oh, is that your first big, I know you had an experience there preparing for Y2K, which was this concern heading into… Yeah, tell us a little bit about that.

James Murray:

So the squad I was primarily assigned to was a Domestic Terrorism Squad, as opposed to some other squads that existed. One of them was, we referred to it as the UBL Squad. And back in the late ’90s, I’m not saying nobody cared, but not very many people understood what the UBL Squad was all about. Obviously, the whole world would come to know what UBL meant, but we were the DT Squad and we were the Response Squad. So if something happened in and around the Metro New York area, we’d be the ones to go out there and kind of assess what it is. And in addition to that, this was the same squad that carried the TWA 800 Event, you’ll remember from the mid ’90s. So kind of a broad spectrum of things they would do.

James Murray:

But one of the things we were assigned with was this lead up back in 98, 99 to Y2K, which as many of your listeners will recall, we thought the world was going to spin off its access at January 1st, stroke of midnight on the year 2000. It was interesting. Obviously very different in terms of digital awareness and the consequences of kind of not being prepared for it but of course happily, none of those fears were ever realized.

John Carlin:

And part though because of actions people took, right?

James Murray:

Yeah, absolutely.

John Carlin:

It does a little bit. I mean, it’s a unique spot, right? And Secret Service and the culture there to be put on the Presidential Protective Division and to be on the PPD and does that happen for you before or after September 11th?

James Murray:

Before. So typical career track here for an agent is he or she will come on start and want to wait. But about 160 officers worldwide you don’t start overseas however. So you’ll start somewhere here, usually in the lower 48, you’ll do a lot of those primary investigator things and then you’ll also pick up a lot of protection. It’s kind of like going to high school, you start as a freshmen, you do freshmen like things, as a sophomore, you pick up more and more experience and exposure. And by the time you’re a senior, you’re a big person on campus there, and you’re getting ready for phase two. Well, phase two for us is not college, it’s usually a phase two assignment here part of career. And most of the phase two assignments reside down here in the national capital region. Some of the more notable ones are the Presidential Protective Division or PPD as we call it, VPD, which is the Vice President’s Detail, our intelligence division. If you are tactically inclined, and I’m not, you can go to a special operations division and do SWAT likes stuff.

James Murray:

And there’s a few other things you could do. So when they pulled my number up there in New York, I actually wanted to go to the former President Bush 41 Detail and kind of live the high life between Houston and Canara Bank Port. And they laughed at me and I was lucky enough to get picked up to go to the President’s Detail. But if I’m being honest, my first choice actually was the Vice President’s Detail. At the time it was Vice President Gore, it became Vice President Cheney, but just because of needs of the service, as we say around here, I wound up going to PPD and all things happen for a reason. I was very, very happy with that.

John Carlin:

Why is that though? Why would anyone want to be… The movie version that the place to be is to be on the President’s Detail, why did you prefer to be on the Vice Presidency Detail?

James Murray:

A lot of the really, really good guys out of the New York Field Office were going down to the Vice President’s Detail. At the time you could kind of get in and out of the VPD quicker. In other words, you can join and do less than four years and pop smoke, as we say, and go back to home to New Jersey or New York whereas on PPD, you owed five plus years. PPD was, and still is more expansive in terms of manpower. So I won’t say big fish, little pond, but on VP, you get more experience and more exposure, and you’re afforded to kind of show your wares earlier on in that experience than you might be able to over in PPD. So those are the things that drew me that raised my hand for the VP, but very glad it worked out for PPD for me.

John Carlin:

Interesting. People don’t realize what an impact it has on your family. So you’re already hitting it kind of in passing, but this idea when you’re on a protective detail, you’d go wherever your protectee does versus being assigned to an office.

James Murray:

Absolutely. Yeah, the travel, I mean, the best way to describe it is excessive. And that’s regardless of who’s an officer, what administration it is, because it’s not simply traveling with that protected person, protectee as we call them, it’s actually going out and doing the advanced work in terms of being ready for a visit that might take place anywhere in the world. So there’s a lot of that. A lot of collateral assignments you pick up just supporting other small details. Lot of travel. I spent between, I think the end of 2000 to very, very early on in 2007 I was on the President’s Detail. So most of that was President Bush 43, but there was a point in 2005 where I was a big boy, so to speak, on the Detail and I was doing a lot of those complex advances.

James Murray:

And at the end of that year, I just happened to get promoted to a supervisory role and I walked into our pantry. My wife and I had two kids then very small and she had a calendar on the wall and a whole bunch of symbols and numbers I didn’t really understand. At the bottom, it was a number like 245. And I asked her, “So what does this mean?” And she said, “You can’t figure it out?” And I couldn’t. And she said, “That’s the number of nights you’re away this year.” And the year wasn’t even over yet. So you got to want to do it, I’ll say that upfront.

John Carlin:

And a lot of people, I think, know the Secret Service through that protective mission. And we’ve talked a little bit about it already, but why isn’t just a protective mission? Why do you do things like investigations?

James Murray:

We actually began as an investigative agency way back in 1865 actually. And the legend is that on April 14th, 1865, President Lincoln’s last official act was to authorize the creation of the Secret Service. Obviously, very sad to note that he would go on to Ford’s Theater and be assassinated that same day. But his decision had nothing at all to do with protection of people or places or things. He was trying to address a different kind of threat that was facing our country. And it was a threat against our financial system and specifically it had to do with counterfeit currency. So that’s the reason the service was created. And for about four decades, not only were we exclusively an investigative outfit, we were one of the only federal investigative outfits.

James Murray:

So we wound up picking up a lot of different things along the way, and it wouldn’t be until after the McKinley assassination in 1901, when we would then be mandated to also pick up protection as well. Did that for a number of years with all those other things and at some point, one of my predecessors with one of his colleagues from the Department of Justice, went and spoke to President Teddy Roosevelt and said, “Hey listen, the service is just too small of an outfit to do all these things. If you want a Bureau that does nothing but conduct investigations, then perhaps you should establish one federally.” And that led to the creation of the FBI not long after that.

James Murray:

And again eight of the earliest FBI agents actually came over. They were Secret Service operatives as they were called. But since that time, we’ve had this dual mission of protection investigation. Obviously, both of those have grown exponentially. From our standpoint, they are really symbiotic in nature. We feel that a good investigative agent makes for a good protective agent and there’s sort of a complimentary nature to those things. And over the course of your career, you kind of weave back and forth between primarily being an investigator to protection agent and so on.

John Carlin:

Where were you guys originally housed and what apartment?

James Murray:

Yes. For about 140 years or so we were actually part of the Treasury, which I guess makes sense since we were established to protect the country’s financial system, but then in 2003 or so, we were sent over along with the Coast Guard and a couple of other agencies that were blended in order to stand up the Department of Homeland Security. So we’ve been there for about 17 years now.

John Carlin:

And let me think dating back, I mean, that was part of a reform that grew out of the events of September 11th. On September 11th, where were you?

James Murray:

I was at the White House.

John Carlin:

And what was it like going through the experience of September 11th from the perspective of being on the protective detail?

James Murray:

Surreal. Obviously like for the rest of the world, but it was interesting. I was at the White House getting ready to what we call a Worker Makeup Shift because as we all know the president was out of town down in Florida at the time, and he was expected back later that day. And then we kind of got a sense through the old SkyTel Pagers to tell the truth as to what was going on. And I can tell you this, John, I never really thought that I would hear or have to shout the phrase drop your heels and run. But that’s what we heard mostly as we were trying to figure out what was going on with aircraft coming into the national capital region and specifically towards the area of the White House, the Capitol, and what have you.

John Carlin:

Drop your heels and run, that’s not a code phrase.

James Murray:

No, it’s not. No, it was encouraged to people who were in heels to not be in heels and just get off the property as quick as they could.

John Carlin:

And yeah, that must’ve been interesting. And so when you say the SkyTel Pagers, was there a particular page code back when people were using pagers to say that it was an emergency or?

James Murray:

I think we were just directed via text message on the SkyTel to report to a certain location and that’s what I recall vividly. It was a wild day. Myself and another agent who came in from the area we live out here in the area and we were sent home probably mid day. I think I drove him to his house and then drove back to my house. This is before cell phones. And when I walked into my home, my hard line phone was ringing and it was him saying, “Hey, we just got a call, we got to go back in” Interesting know when you’re in the Field Office, a lot of times agents have take-home cars just as they go to their field work. When you report to your face two PPD, VPD, and so on you don’t because you’re technically not on response anymore.

James Murray:

So you drive your privately owned vehicles, your own car. So it was kind of interesting trying to drive our POV as we call them back into the district when everybody was trying to flood the district. So something I’ll never forget as long as I’m on this earth and then went back in. And I hope I’m not embellishing, but I’ve told people I don’t think we went home for probably another 40 plus hours after that just trying to figure out what came next.

John Carlin:

Yeah. I’m sure. And how did you get back into the city? You were just flashing the badge?

James Murray:

I think it’s beyond the statute of limitations. So my dad, when he was detective with the New Jersey state police had an old Kojak red ball light, you remember those? Used to go on top of the car. My partner got named Danny Shot. He was driving a GMC Jimmy and I just grabbed that Kojak red ball out of my garage and we put that on. It didn’t have a siren and just rolled in. Yeah, it was wild. I don’t want to get Dan in trouble. We may have driven on the sidewalk. We may not have just to get through the crowds.

John Carlin:

Just so people are following that, because it was your POV, it was your personal vehicle, so you didn’t have a siren, but you happened to have your dad’s back from when he was a state trooper?

James Murray:

Just the light, just the red ball light that goes on top.

John Carlin:

Just the light.

James Murray:

Yeah. It’s magnetic. I wouldn’t say it’s around. It’s sort of, I don’t know, it’s a strange shaped light and it’s a very slow light that kind of just goes around in a circle. It’s not too intimidating or impressive, but that’s what we used that day.

John Carlin:

Guy, so we’ve come a long way, I guess, in terms of thinking about how to respond and how to get people back to work. I know that was one of the things when I was at the Bureau, it’s those nuts and bolts details that people don’t think about when they’re doing resilience planning, right? At that point in time, so you’re at Secret Service during the move from Treasury to Homeland. And I imagine at the line level, they’re mixed, it’s a big deal to move from a department and to move to a new department, what was it like doing the transition?

James Murray:

It was. I mean, it was bittersweet in a way. I’d only been with the agency for about seven or eight years at that point, but of course, a lot of the folks that work with me, the mission support folks, the uniform division police officers and agents had been with the agency for a couple of decades then. So it was part of who they were. Being that it was bittersweet, we certainly had high hopes for what might come down the road for us with DHS. It didn’t really upset the applecart too much for those of us like me who were working agents. I know from talking to some of my predecessors who sat where I’m at right now, it was a bit of a learn for them, but it didn’t have a whole lot of impact on the rank and file basically being able to stay in tact and keep our dual mission as we moved over to DHS.

John Carlin:

And as you moved, have there been any fundamental shifts in the way the Secret Service does business that came with the move or post September 11th, it’s still around protection and investigations?

James Murray:

Yeah. I don’t know about any shifts. I think we’ve really evolved and we’ve tried to do our best to kind of grow, capitalize on lessons learned and stay up to speed with emerging technologies and emerging threats. And that’s both on the protective side of the house and on the investigative side of the house in particularly when it comes to the cyber domain, but there were no guard rails as to what we could and couldn’t do once we arrived at DHS.

John Carlin:

What’s the role now since you guys first got started and where the original boys in town, they were in criminal investigations, there’s now a few other players and how would you say what’s unique about the role of your criminal investigations within that broader law enforcement, national security and cybersecurity community?

James Murray:

Well thankfully, it is broad and there’s dozens of agencies that are in this game and leisure lot of redundancy by design that kind of leads to the readiness we were talking about earlier. We’re unique especially if you want to talk about your former outfit, the Bureau or our partners here in DHS over at Homeland Security Investigations, very, very, very big organizations with really broad and expansive jurisdiction and do a great job. When it comes to our investigative mandate, we’re much more narrowly focused. So try to find a not so clunky analogy, if they’re the big box stores we’re your local boutique, if they’re the general practitioners, we’re more along the lines of surgeons or specialists when it comes to the violations that we work. That’s the one most obvious difference.

James Murray:

The other that’s kind of unique about us is that when it comes to our integrated mission, our dual mission of protection and investigation, we actually approach them both in very much the same way. What I mean by that is we talk about how we go about choosing our cases and kind of establishing our priorities. We do that with the idea of endeavoring to safeguard and protect and secure our country’s financial infrastructure and our payment systems and so on and so forth. We’re not so worried about working in particular groups who might be conducting a variety of different crimes, and we’re not so hyper-focused on one particular violation or the other. We’re there to kind of stand post, if you will, and stand, watch over our country’s financial system.

John Carlin:

One of the things post September 11th, I know working with Director Mueller at the FBI, there was a focus on… Because as you rightly say, there’s so many different missions, but making sure there were very clear priorities and that resources flowed to those priorities and the number one priority at the time based on threat was presenting against another terrorist attack, but it would flow from there, weapons of mass destruction, cyber, and there were certain crimes that the Bureau had traditionally worked, whether it was moving narcotics enforcement and making clear that DEA would be lead there or this is one that, I don’t know, that he fully succeeded on because it’s still part of the FBI’s identity is bank robberies.

John Carlin:

And he was wondering why should we be spending a lot of time at bank robberies when we’re doing terrorist attacks and try to move resources. But imagine something you think about in your current post and somebody’s thought about at the service over the years that you have a lot of these statutes that are on paper, you can investigate and enforce and how you decide where to prioritize and where to put your resources.

James Murray:

No doubt. Our focus today now is expressly on same as it was then, safeguarding our financial system but we do have a particular focus interest on looking at these transnational organized crime groups that are actually conducting these sort of cyber crimes and offenses. But going back to 2001, actually in the Patriot Act, it was mandated that the Secret Service was to expand this network of a task force that we’ve had now for 25 plus years, until very recently, it was referred to as the ECTF, The Electronic Crimes Task Force. And we just recently blended it with another task force initiative we have. But that was specifically to support not only the task force, but any efforts we might have that would go to assisting agencies like the FBI and their broader defense of the Homeland.

John Carlin:

Let’s talk a little bit about that. The Electronic Crimes Task Force for the first cyber folks, you were the first federal agency and then that task force was really the first model on how to combat computer crime, which was something new at the end. We had someone on who has perhaps participated in some of it on an earlier show, Alex Stamos. But it was using modems and whistle sounds essentially to hack. So were you ever involved with that when you were coming up on the line or is that something you learned about more when you’re in leadership?

James Murray:

Yeah. So indirectly as I mentioned, I was in the New York Field Office. That’s where I started in 95. That was the same year that the ECTF, The Electronic Crimes Task Force was established. It was a group of not only Secret Service, but NYPD, FBI, the old US customs, which became part of HSI and CBP and that a whole bunch of private sector partners that they were part of it back then. It’s funny to think back a lot of their focus back then was on cell phone fraud. But when you talk about the physical cell phone, I always try to joke to my kids that they were bigger than the breadbox, and I realized, oh, they don’t know what a breadbox is. It’s so much bigger than an X-Box. The cell phones were gigantic and it was to do with counterfeit SIM cards.

James Murray:

And then by extension, they would have a pretty unique focus on counterfeit calling cards. So that’s kind of where their focus was for the first couple of years. They did fantastic work. New York was the first one. Shortly thereafter, a number of them started popping up. As I noted earlier after 2001, we were directed to expand that network. Today, we have 42 task forces nationwide and two international overseas. We’re in the process of expanding that by another 16 or 17 to include some more of a footprint overseas as well. But of course, we don’t do those giant cell phone cases anymore where we’re very much involved in the fight against cyber crime today in 2020 moving from forward.

John Carlin:

And just to pause on the cell phone for a sec. So do you think the counterfeiting was because you guys were used to investigating counterfeiting has been Treasury or no?

James Murray:

No, I should mention before somebody listens to this and says, “Hey, Jimmy, forgot to mention camp.” We still do investigate counterfeit kind of occurrence. That’s part of our safeguarding of the financial system but no, I think that was just the scheme to zure back then for people in and around that area who were counterfeiting SIM cards and things like that to kind of get these illegal cell phones on the street. So it was very much a hands-on type of thing back then, you’d go out and actually do by bus and stuff like that on the streets of New York. And today as you know from your experience, a lot of this stuff is done remotely, virtually because these are not isolated to the streets of New York or any other city, the cyber crimes that work today are crimes without borders and occur worldwide.

John Carlin:

You talked a little bit that the name has changed for ECTF. So tell me a little bit about why did the name change? What does it signify?

James Murray:

Even before the first ECTF 25 years ago, the Secret Service, probably since the late ’70s and early ’80s when they first started getting involved with the fraud game and that was credit card fraud and access device and bank fraud and stuff like that, we had a number of, well, probably two-minute account, different types of fraud task forces that we stood up all over the place. And then they became more formalized in time. And we’ve had them until very, very recently. We’d have a financial crimes task force in the same offices where we had the electronic crimes task forces. And what we realized, especially in the last, let’s say seven, eight years, is that we were plowing down the same roads in each of these task forces. And it wasn’t the kind of redundancy we needed. And we probably could create a deficiency by joining forces because you had the same partner agencies in any given city along with the Secret Service on these task forces.

James Murray:

So we decided to blend them together. The reality is that it would be hard for us to sit there and name 10 different crimes that exist out there, John, that are not digital in nature at least directly or indirectly. And so there really wasn’t much sense any longer in kind of having that bright line between a fraud task force vice and electronic crimes task force and that’s what led to the merger.

John Carlin:

Got it. And it’s so true these days. In fact, that’s been one of the questions I think different agencies have confronted private sector. Should you call something cyber? What things are digital? And essentially every crime you’re investigating is digital, how do you distinguish between what needs this specialized expertise and what’s now just part of the regular training for an agent?

James Murray:

Once you’re hired, you go down to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, and you do a couple of months training there and the Secret Service will then bring you back to our training facility just outside of Washington, DC. And you do probably another four or five months there. All said and done, you’re doing eight months of what we’ll call basic training before you… And that’s obviously very heavy on protection and very heavy on investigation. In the last five plus years or so where it used to be a specialty, every agent goes through a basic course on cyber crimes, whether he or she decides to make that a specialty, once they get back to the field, everybody has really solid exposure and therefore has the ability to have somewhat a basic understanding and a basic working knowledge. So when they’re out there and they’re exposed to this, or they’re supporting the people who are the specialists, they can sort of walk and chew gum as well.

James Murray:

That’s the basics. However, much like with the electronic crimes task force, which has now turned into the cyber fraud task force, we were very early in training our personnel from a specialty standpoint. We’ve probably had this program as we call it Accept The Electronic Crime Special Agent Program for probably about 20 years now. And that is a deep dive full on immersion. And that’s where somebody who is an agent with the service decides that they want to be a cyber agent and they go through many, many months of school and they make that sort of their career track, so to speak. In addition to that, we’ve offered a whole bunch of training in digital forensics, cryptocurrency. We offer even our basic agent students, we call Nitro Training Network Intrusion Type Training. So that’s kind of how we build the entire workforce. But it’s like anything else, we’re not looking to make everybody a specialist in this area, but we want to make sure everybody’s able to support the cyber investigative mission.

John Carlin:

And how do you distinguish? So it’s been in the news lately about the recent departure of a director of another part of the Department of Homeland Security with cyber in the name, the Cyber Infrastructure Security Agency or CISA, what’s their role versus the Secret Service’s role at Homeland and how do you work together around cyber threats?

James Murray:

Chris Krebs did a great job. I think our agents are not only with the department, but the country’s safer and more capable because of him. But CISA is a great partner. That’s an agency who’s really come a long way in the last five to seven years and they have a pretty broad mission mandate as well. But when it comes to cyber, their focus is on not only education and awareness of the general public and all the various sectors that are out there, but ensuring readiness and resiliency. So they’re not by nature an investigative outfit but we do work very closely with them and they are a big part of our cyber fraud task forces around the country and around the world.

John Carlin:

And is there some tension there? Just when you’re trying to get private sector partners, I’ve noticed one of the advantages of CISA and it’s gotten a lot of attention lately, right? It got a new name, it got new funding, so I’m curious about how that affects morale on your end for folks doing the investigative side on cyber. But they also as part of their branding, they’ve distinguished themselves as we have no enforcement mission, so we’re really just here to help. And that makes us different than FBI or Secret Service and certainly different than Regulator. At the same time though, there’s a little bit of attention competition again with clients where do I go when I have an incident and each agency is making its own argument as to why you should go to them first. And how does that play out for you as director and how do you try to navigate that and keep morale high?

James Murray:

I can appreciate that. And again, never having been in the private sector or run a corporation myself, I did at my old job work for an agency that was heavily involved with regulatory enforcement. So I get the reticence of a business owner or a COO or a CISO, whoever who doesn’t want to come forward and just wants to consult with an agency like CISA, that makes all the sense in the world. But I’ll say this, the first time that you’re talking to a Secret Service cyber agent or an FBI cyber agent cannot be, and must not be after you’ve been a victim of cyber crimes.

James Murray:

Those partnerships have to start early on. We go out of our way to kind of engage and conduct all sorts of outreach to make sure that we have those lines of communication in place. And while I recognize there might be a fear that this may result in some sort of regulatory gum up, I get that, but I think the alternative is far worse and the risk is far worse. So our message to private sector and all the various sectors is please come and talk to whether it’s CISA, the FBI, Secret Service. Talk to us now, make sure we’re all on the same sheet of music so that when an incident does occur, we can respond and address it together.

John Carlin:

How do you incentivize that, by the way, for your folks? So you train people to throw themselves literally in front of a bullet for a protectee and then an investigation side to aggressively look for criminals and ultimately bring them to justice, bring cases, but here it’s a mission of outreach or partnership. It’s a less exciting metric, I guess. And in protection you certainly know when something went wrong, but I think in a criminal investigation too at the end of the day, you bring a prosecution, but here you’re trying to reach out to people and stop something from happening so they’ll never see it. How do you incentivize it, measure it?

James Murray:

Well, incentivize it internally, I think all of our folks, whether it’s mission support, your analyst, your agents, they get that the solution here is not simply putting handcuffs on people and seizing phone and returning it to victims, the solution here is education and awareness. So I don’t think our folks need a whole lot of motivation or reminder as to why that matters so much. As far as partnerships, we are a relatively small organization. We’re about 7,700 strong. That’s about 1600 of those, our uniformed division police officers. Great outfit, about a third of those are mission support people, a whole broad, vast array of different kinds of jobs series.

James Murray:

And then the remainder are your special agents. Here’s the reality of life in the Secret Service, we are by design a small outfit and we are by design highly reliant on the partnerships we have with both the public and private sectors. Quite literally on the protective side of the house, the wheels do not roll when we get to town regardless of who the protectee is unless we have the support of our local state county and so on there and figuratively on the investigative side, the same remains true. So if we don’t have an ongoing dialogue with those folks that are in the private sector, we can respond to suspicious activities that we see after the fact, but there’s really no way for us to get out ahead of it unless we kind of are linked with them early on.

John Carlin:

You’re talking about threats today. So you go out, you speak to a potential victim ahead of time, what are you telling them about threats? What are the top cyber crime threats you’re seeing today?

James Murray:

Trends we’re seeing nowadays, they’ve been around for a while, but they’re kind of evolving in and of themselves. So probably the more prevalent thing we see quite often is ransomware, of course. I think a lot of your listeners will be familiar with ransomware. I think the best way to define it is it’s quite simply where systems and information are taken hostage and they’re taken hostage for the purpose of profit. So that’s one thing where really that early communication with potential victims or our partners in the private sector, that’s where it’s critical because that’s where we want to respond right away. Other things we’re seeing quite a bit of especially in the last couple of years are these business email compromises, which are fraud schemes that target businesses that work with other businesses, other parties. And these transnational groups get in there and they mimic the day-to-day communications that go on within email systems and so on and so forth. And then they send a message either internally or externally to initiate something like a wire transfer. And that’s how they affect these business email compromise schemes.

James Murray:

Obviously, phishing has been around for a long time. There’s none of us out there that’s not been the recipient of a phishing type message. But again, that goes from annoying spam in your junk email box all the way to really intricate and targeted activity. And then we’re still working a lot of card skimming. This is a certain kind of credit card theft where these transnational groups or these bad actors place a device on different gas pumps, what have you, in order to steal credit card information and then they exploit that.

John Carlin:

All these changes in the credit card and the skimming scheme is still working?

James Murray:

Exponentially better than it ever was even a couple of years ago. But yeah, there’s certain vulnerabilities there that these folks that are committing these acts, they are intelligent and they learn from their own mistakes just like we do.

John Carlin:

I can see when you walk through the different types of threats that you’re facing, they do really all revolve around fraud in a way, and why the Cyber Fraud Task Force makes sense. In addition to that change, you also created and launched a new outside advisory board, which I am a member. What was the thinking behind that?

James Murray:

Yeah. It’s the Cyber Investigative Advisory Board. It’s the first of its kind, as far as we know, first of its kind for the Secret Service anyway. It’s comprised of 16 different senior executives and experts from the various sectors industry, government, academia, and looking for this group to kind of work with us to provide strategic counsel and kind of be a good idea machine for us for when it comes time to figure out what’s the best way to go about combating cyber crime and cyber fraud. It’s early days for sure as you know, John, but really, really excited about the prospect. It’s been a long time coming that we’ve wanted to have a trusted sounding board like this to make sure that we’re all on the same sheet of music, we’re all rowing in the same direction.

James Murray:

I think to not have something like this, it’s almost like hiring contractors to come to your house. And the contractors come week after week and every week they keep painting the shutters over and over again. But they never talk to you so they don’t know that the reason you call them and you really need them is because there’s electrical problems and that’s kind of what was missing there. So we’re trying to exploit the fact that we have these contacts that we’ve established for many, many years and kind of leverage them to make sure that we’re all, as I say, moving in the right direction in the future.

John Carlin:

Two big changes, Cyber Fraud Task Force, creating this new advisory board, is there something else? Are these the big changes that we should expect in the near future or it’s some more to come?

James Murray:

As I say, we kind of feel there’s a symbiotic nature from when it comes to our integrated mission to protection and investigation. And sort of along the same lines as the advisory board, we noticed that there was a bit of a gap. We have 40 plus ECTFs and until recently even more Financial Fraud Task Force is out there. People doing really, really great work amongst their partners. And we realized but they were doing them not so much in the silo, but they were doing their level best to cut leads to various offices to make sure they can get info back. But what happened is you’d have pop-ups of cases or investigations that were tangential and maybe the investigating team wasn’t really fully aware of that. So on the protection side of the house, the way we would cover down on that is we would establish a command post. And a command post would be the one that has its finger on the pulse of all things operational, they would be the one to sort of direct all coordination and communication to make sure that everybody was tracking and clear on what the situation was.

James Murray:

So we decided to develop the same sort of operation on the investigative side. We base it here at the headquarters. We refer to it as the Global Investigations Operation Center or the GIOC. It’s there to provide investigative and analytical support across all field offices and all these task forces. And what is done already in the short time it’s been up in the last year or so is it’s really helped to establish and identify and call out those links that exist and more importantly, it’s covered down gaps that might exist. Beyond that, it is also another avenue to conduct outreach to our various partners with regard to what’s current, what are the warning signs we’re seeing ourselves here? We’re seeing the bridges out figuratively speaking, and we want to make sure you know about it. So it’s been a real boon for us. Really productivity is through the roof as a result of it.

John Carlin:

And is the GIOC place… You talked about partnerships including the task force you’ve… The original ECTF dating back to 1995 at the private sector, how does the private sector plugin to the GIOC or that’s something more internal and they still go through the field office?

James Murray:

There’s constant communication, but the idea is just that whether it’s through fellowships or secondments, what have you, we have folks like FBI agents and stuff already assigned to a GIOC. The idea would be to bring in some of our key private sector partners to kind of be in there and assist us real time as well.

John Carlin:

We’re at an election transition, there’s been some discussion in the current administration about another move for Secret Service. In fact, linking back to something you’ve touched on already about the protection of the financial sector, the current treasury secretary has said that cyber crime is one of the greatest threats facing the financial sector. Well, let me just pause for a sec. Do you agree with that?

James Murray:

With the statement? Absolutely.

John Carlin:

And so you can see one motive towards moving the Secret Service back to where it came from, so back to the Treasury Department might be around that idea of a financial risk. I’ve heard other arguments pro and con, but from your perspective, how should we be thinking about what are the advantages disadvantages of a move?

James Murray:

When we first moved over in 2003 to DHS along with the Coast Guard and a number of other outfits, I think expectation and hopes were very high. Speaking as somebody who’s been here and in the Secret Service the whole time as a career person and a working agent, those expectations were never really met. I don’t think it’s the fault of any administration. I think what happened is bit of a square peg round hole for the Secret Service in DHS to a certain extent. That’s one way to look at it. The bigger way to look at it is the DHS mission set is so expansive. It is so broad and it is primarily as it should be focused on border security and immigration and transportation security and then a whole host of other different infrastructure related items. And then there’s our mission which we’ve already discussed, right? Our mission is clear. It’s protection and investigation.

James Murray:

So it was very, very tough to kind of compete for consideration and for budgetary and for staffing support. And that has been probably since the advent. So as a result, this question of whether or not the Secret Service should remain in DHS, go back to Treasury, go to some other department, or even be a standalone organization, that’s come up a lot over the last 17 years. As a matter of fact in 2011, there was actually draft legislation out of the Senate judiciary to do just that and it had tacit approval of the Obama administration. For one reason or another, it didn’t happen. And then as you’re aware, there was a protective mission panel that was established after a couple of very near mission failures here in the Secret Service. One in which an individual jumped the White House fence and got into the state floor.

James Murray:

That mission panel was comprised of folks like yourself, folks with senior government and private sector and leadership experience. And they made a whole number of recommendations. The most of which we’ve been able to implement. Prime amongst their recommendations was that the Secret Service might benefit at least in the short term from having an outside director that is somebody who didn’t grow up Secret Service, so to speak. And we did that. We had a gentleman here General Tex Alles, who was here for a couple of years. He is a career marine, spent some time over in DHS and then came and served with us from, I think, 2017 to 2019. I hope it was a great experience for him because it was a great experience for us. He opened our eyes to a lot of different things.

James Murray:

When he decided to go back over to DHS, he had a checkout if you will, with the administration and he shared his observations and provided some recommendations. And prime amongst his recommendations is that the Secret Service should go back to Treasury. And his reasoning at the time was a little bit of what I just mentioned, we’re never going to get the support we need there, but more importantly, it was mission fit because we are about protection of people, places and things on a protective side and protection of our nation’s financial infrastructure on the investigative side. And that is precisely what the treasury department’s mission is as well.

James Murray:

So what happened as a result of that I found myself in this position not long after was asked to take a look at it, definitely thought since the question that lingered for 17 years, that it should be examined, the office of management and budget conducted a feasibility study. We did a pretty good level of engagement on the hill. As you said, a lot of people were for it, a lot of people raised the yellow flag, a little bit of concern about what might happen to the department. What I am happy to report in all that engagement, not one person, not one staff or not one member of Congress, not one senator, nobody looked to politicize the question. So that was very much refreshing. I don’t know where it goes, John, if it happens, that’s great, if it doesn’t and we’re in DHS, that’s great as well.

James Murray:

I think just by engaging in the conversation, maybe we’ve looked to ameliorate that concern that we don’t get the due consideration or we’re not heard because we certainly have been heard quite a bit over the last year or so. So we’ll see where it goes. And until we’re moved anywhere, we’re proud to be a component within DHS.

John Carlin:

More controversial, I think, people have also talked about splitting, keeping the protective arm at Homeland Security and moving the investigative branch back to Treasury.

James Murray:

To be blunt, I think that’s a really bad idea. We really feel that regardless of your job description here, being exposed to this dual mission makes you stronger in each. The more investigative experience you have, the better protective agents you become, the more experience you have, you become a better investigator when you go back to doing that primarily. I also think that would be very, very tough to do from a recruiting and hiring and retention standpoint. If you’re going to do nothing but protection full-time, that is really, really tough on an individual. It’s tough on a family. It’s tough on an agency. So it’s hard for me to imagine that happening. Again, the reason that we’ve been carrying out this dual mission for 120 plus years is because we’ve established that not only can we do it, but we do it well, and it’s critical to our national security.

John Carlin:

Yeah. And actually talking through your story and career, I think is a good example of one that would have been negatively impacted if all you did was protection. Just curious a little bit because you talked about having a director and the tradition at Secret Service has been to have agents as directors, right? People who have worked our way up. At the FBI, that has happened but the tradition is the opposite. It’s usually been some with prosecutorial experience and another government experience, but they’ve not been career agents. It sounds like you had a good experience during the one time someone was brought in from outside. What do you think? Should it be a rotation? Should there be a default in one direction rather? And I assume you think the current director is doing a pretty good job.

James Murray:

I’m certainly not opposed to it. And if anybody was leery of the idea before General Alles, Director Alles as we call him now, actually he’s under Secretary of Management Alles now back over to DHS, but if anybody was leery or had doubts before he spent time with us, I mean, he’s definitely neutralized those. His time, his tenure here with not only great Alles here, but a lot of these great things we’ve talked about in our conversation today are as a result of his leadership. So there’s definitely opportunity for it. I will say this though and I think you know this, but for the benefit of your listeners, Secret Service, just under 8,000 people small outfit, we are a law enforcement agency but as you know from your experience at the Bureau and DOJ, we’re sort of unlike other law enforcement agencies. And we look and operate a lot like the military, but we’re not part of the armed services.

James Murray:

And by the virtue of the fact of being an agency, we’re part of a bureaucracy. But what’s unique about us is we’re one of the very, very few organizations and agencies within the federal government that has zero political appointees, regardless of whether they come from the outside or they grow up here, so to speak. That is by design because we are apolitical and agnostic when it comes to political party or ideology or platform. We’re all about the fence and a protection of the constitution and ensuring its continuity and all that kind of stuff.

James Murray:

So I don’t know that you could really kind of prescribe a rotation, but I will say this, all those things I just mentioned make us a little bit of a weird little agency. So the learning curve for somebody coming in from the outside is going to be sharp and very, very fast. So I would say if somebody came in from the outside, the one thing we don’t have that FBI directors do is I think they have like a tenure of… You correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s a 10 years when they’re appointed.

John Carlin:

That’s right. Yep.

James Murray:

So we don’t have it here. Most of us have been career employees, which means we’re not politically appointed. You can move us in the position and go have us peel potatoes, but we would effectively still be here. So I think if you’ve got somebody coming from the outside, we’d want to give them the support they need and the time they need to get up to speed, because we’re a little bit different than other agencies and we’re happy to be different but that creates a bit of a challenge for somebody coming in to kind of lead an organization like this.

John Carlin:

You raised an important point and it’s one that’s especially important in these divided and increasingly partisan times but the importance of having a culture at an agency where really it’s, I don’t even know if it’s… I think it’s the last thing on people’s minds, right? Politics at all, they’re focused on the mission.

James Murray:

We all come from different backgrounds and experiences. And we might come from families that they’re big into politics, or they have people that might be politicians themselves. But whenever we get new folks, whether it’s new officers, new agents, new administrative or professional folks, I’ll sit down along with our deputy director, whom I think Leon Newsome and our chief operating officer George Mulligan and we sit and we kind of talk about the service and our experience here. And the one thing we’ll tell them very, very plainly is you’re entitled to have your own political opinion, but you should know that none of us care and none of us want to hear it. It really has no bearing on what we do here day-to-day. It’s just not only an obstruction, it’s a distraction. So I can tell you in my nearly 26 years I can’t even recall a time where there’s been an ongoing political conversation in any venue, whether protective side, on the investigative side, traveling here domestically or around the world, it’s just not something we do.

John Carlin:

I mean, it’s been great having you here today. And let me end with just, what’s your pitch to our listeners who are thinking about whether or not they want to join the Secret Service?

James Murray:

Well, I’m glad you asked. As I said, we’re just under 8,000 people. That’s probably twice the size it was maybe 25 years ago. But we are on the move and we have a strategic hiring plan where we’re looking to hire to get to about 10,000 people. That’s again, not just agents, that’s the uniform division, that’s all of our mission support people. So we are in the middle of a, even with COVID, big hiring frenzy. Here’s the thing about the Secret Service, if you are someone who wants to be part of something bigger than yourself, and if you’re someone who derives a psychological salary in being of service to others, and at the same time getting to do some pretty cool and interesting things along the way, I would ask you to give us a look.

James Murray:

We are different from others. It is demanding. It’s not going to only require the investment of you, but the people that love you and that are part of your lives. It is very much a family affair here when it comes to the travel and the schedule that people here in the Secret Service endure. But I’ll tell you this, John, I guess it’s like a lot of other things in life. For me, there’s no better job out there. This job is fantastic, but it’s because despite the ups and downs, I want to be here and I choose to be here. I imagine that if you did not want to be here, this is a pretty tough place to be. But it’s funny, people that come, our attrition rate as demanding is is relatively low, I think this place kind of gets in people’s bones and their DNA once they’re part of the service.

John Carlin:

When I was in government, I loved the jobs and people would sometimes thank you, which I’m tempted to do with you for the service you put in over the years. But the truth is, it sounds like similarly for you there’s no thank you. It was great. So I want to thank the other way around. Thank you taxpayer, because… Let me do… The person that we should be thanking is your wife.

James Murray:

That’s right.

John Carlin:

For the 265 days. But again, it’s been great having you here today, and thank you for the work that you do. Cyber Space is presented by CAFE. Your host is John Carlin. The Executive Producer is Tamara Sepper, the Senior Producer is Adam Waller. The Senior Audio Producer is David Tatasciore and the CAFE team is Matthew Billy, Nat Wiener, Sam Ozer-Staton, David Kurlander, Noa Azulai, Jake Kaplan, Calvin Lord, Geoff Isenman, Chris Boylan, Sean Walsh, and Margot Malley. The music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Today’s episode was brought to you in collaboration with Brooklyn Law Schools, BLIP Clinic. Special thanks to Amanda Kadish, Isabella Agosto, Jaqueline Green and Motty Rivkin.