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Lifting the Iron Curtain

5:45 PM -- Clearly, there is a lot more to a career in the FBI science and technology division than staring at a screen all day. David Thomas, the division's deputy assistant director, painted a somewhat racier picture of life in the agency during his keynote speech at today's LegalTech conference. (See FBI.)

That said, the official, who spends a sizeable chunk of his time chasing cyber-criminals around Eastern Europe, is unlikely to be retiring to Belarus of the former Soviet Union anytime soon.

Some time ago, while waiting to catch a flight on an antiquated-looking aircraft in that country, Thomas struck up a conversation with a vodka-swigging local: " 'I don't want to get in that plane any more than you do,' he said. He was the pilot!"

Things were not much easier when it came to eating out. Thomas, along with some other FBI agents, decided they wanted a McDonald's. Speaking no Belarusian, the official drew a McDonald's logo on a napkin and showed it to a taxi-driver, who promptly drove him to a strip-club! "How am I going to explain to the director of the FBI why I am in a strip club trying to buy a big Mac at two o'clock in the morning?" wailed the official.

Personally, I think this sounds like a lot of fun. On the strength of Thomas's account, I think that Belarus should be added to the tech show circuit. This would at least save us from the tradeshow hell that is Las Vegas. Interop Minsk anyone?

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