InterCorp Bureau of Investigation
|Founded by||Richard Shang|
The InterCorp Bureau of Investigation, or ICBI, is the private intelligence agency of the World Board. Although the ICBI officially acts only on orders from the World Board, the agency has the power of "Special Speakers Right," enabling the ICBI to speak at any World Board meeting despite lacking status as a top 500 country. This power effectively allows the Board to encourage the initiation of investigations, in addition to following orders handed down from the Board.
The Bureau has used this right when internal disagreements within the World Board prevented an investigation from being opened due to alleged "lack of evidence." In cases where sufficient evidence appeared to exist but was not acknowledged by the World Board as a whole, the ICBI was able to prompt the opening of an investigation despite the refusal of the top 500.
Such actions have greatly increased the popularity of the Bureau, as an ever-increasing number of citizens see the Board as "looking out for the little guy."
It is the business of the Bureau to gather information on activities and entities suspected of breaking the Aohu Accords. The Bureau relies on a vast network of information sources acquired over the years of its operation.
Secure By Stream
"Secure By Stream" is voluntary surveillance app for any citizen of Aohu who wishes to assist the Bureau. This application allows the Bureau to access, in real time, whatever the user sees or hears as long while they are in a public area. These streams are sent to a local surveillance facility, where they are automatically tracked and processed. This allows the Bureau to instantly acquire "eyes on site" when a major occurrence is suspected or detected.
The popularity of the app surged after the Bureau started paying users a fee for each streamed hour. Because the app only works when used on a location marked as "public", many bars in Aohu are marked as such, to attract patrons who can continue to gain streaming income while they drink.
Though advancing technology has allowed the Bureau many points of access for information gathering, the Bureau still makes use of insider agents to insist in their investigations. By offering amnesty or even profit as a result of cooperation, the Bureau has a track record of success in recruiting insider agents to assist with their investigations.
The Bureau's department of "External Human Resources" is tasked with recruiting and maintaining the Bureau's network of insider and other non-employee informants and information sources.
Hearts and Minds
When insider can be found to assist in an investigation or attempting recruitment is considered too dangerous, the Bureau can rely on the services of one of their operatives in the "Hearts and Minds" division.
These operatives specialize in deep-cover work and receive rigorous training. Some operatives are even assigned to change from Corp to Incarnate as part of their assignment preparation, in order to further improve their cover. It's not uncommon for these operatives to remain in deep cover for years at a time. Rumors allege that certain CEOs of companies in the World Board are actually ICBI operatives, but none of these allegations have been confirmed (or officially denied).
One of the latest tactics adopted by the World Board is the use of automated drones. Even though ICBI does not develop or own a fleet of drones, they have ongoing agreements with both StrigiMedia and Exatech that allow them to access drones controlled by these companies under certain conditions. The full extent of this control, and the necessary conditions to trigger it, is confidential information.
As increasingly advanced technology becomes available to the general population, the ICBI has struggled to regulate new tech. The Bureau presented the "Technology Classification and Restriction Act" to the World Board in 13AA. The Act was passed in 13AA, after 2 years of constant political fights and over 24 revisions, making it the most heavily contested Act to ever be passed successfully.
Under the provisions of the Act, certain technology classifications can be overruled by civil corporations. Special privileges are also granted to the Incarnate, most notably the "Speed Lane" addendum which allows Incarnates to more obtain licenses for certain "non-removable" enhancements more quickly than Corp citizens.
Products classified as "civilian" are pieces of technology that require little to no training to operate. They are widely available to the general public and require significant effort to harm anyone.
Products in the "prosumer" classification are usually more advanced versions of a civilian product. Prosumer products have significantly more features and usually require training before use. Most cities have restrictions on at least some prosumer equipment and require licenses before such equipment can be operated. Examples of prosumer equipment requiring licenses in most cities include cars, manufacturing equipment, and certain types of laboratory equipment.
Enforcer / Professional
Most Enforcer/Professional is either difficult to procure, or requires extensive permits and licensing to operate. Equipment at this level almost always requires extensive training before it can be used in any way, let alone safely.
One wishing to purchase an Enforcer category product must provide proof of certification authorizing them to use the item in question, and also proof of employment in a position which requires the use of such an item. Examples of equipment include side-arms below a certain caliber, DNA sequencers, armored vehicles, wiretap equipment, etc..
This category is reserved for cutting edge tech that is considered dangerous on a large scale, to the point where it can alter the fate of an entire industry. Licenses for military products are not typically handed out and are typically traded almost exclusively on the black market. Only rarely are permits for military equipment granted to non-Civil Corp members. Possession of military equipment without a license incurs heavy penalties. Examples of military equipment include rifles, explosives, tanks, and DoomBeasts.
Certain equipment is considered to be so dangerous or experimental that only Civil Corporations can be allowed to use them at all. Even use and ownership by Civil Corporations is restricted and regulated.
This classification is part of the final and highly classified section of the Act, which specifies under what circumstances and for what purposes the use of covert technology is permitted. The Act also contains harsh penalties for leaking the existence or ownership of such a license.
Any technology encountered by the ICBI which outclasses Covert / Military graded items or software in perceived risk, and have not yet been rated.