• 04.27.10

Crib Sheet: Gordon M. Snow, Assistant Director of FBI Cyber Division

This is the only freely-circulating photograph in existence of Gordon M. Snow, the newly-appointed deputy director of the FBI Cyber Division. But then, the FBI is probably marginally more aware of social networking etiquette than other crime and espionage agencies around the world.

Seems like a regular guy: Hailing from Detroit, Snow spent his formative years in Michigan, and gained a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before joining the Marine Corps. He’s also got an M.B.A. (handy for startups, one would think) from Virginia Tech and a J.D. from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. Fellow students describe him as “[redacted for reasons of security]” and the most “[redacted for reasons of security]-out guy you’d ever [redacted for reasons of security] in a [redacted for reasons of security].”


Er, can we take a raincheck? He’s actually a bit of a Jack Bauer. Unfortunate enough to get stuck in a dodgy elevator with a woman from his apartment building following a Thanksgiving dinner in 2005, Bauer–sorry, Snow–opened both sets of doors and jumped down a floor in order to raise the alarm. When he returned to help the woman stuck in the elevator, she misjudged her leap and fell down the lift shaft to her death. Her parents filed a Superior Court suit (.pdf) against the lift manufacturer, the firm in charge of the building’s security, the owners’ association, the land trust, the realty firm, the developers and, lastly, Gordon M. Snow.

Yes, but would you pick him for your Dodgeball Team? There’s no doubt that Snow’s going to be effective in going mano a mano in the battle for cyber supremacy–although one must pity the poor geek who dares to make a mook-up on his watch. Previous positions held by him include: member of the Hostage Rescue Team, SWAT program coordinator of the Feds’ Detroit Division, chief of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear and Missile Technology Unit at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in D.C., and he was instrumental in drafting the Cyber Counterintelligence Plan for the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.

What the FBI thinks of him: “Protecting the United States against cyber crimes is one of the FBI’s highest priorities and is, in fact, the FBI’s highest criminal priority. Gordon’s broad range of investigative and leadership experience will serve the Cyber Division well as they carry out his mission.” That’s in Robert S. Mueller III’s words.

A haiku for the Comprehensive National Security Initiative:


Is Much Easier to Say


As an Acronym.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.