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Detroit News: Justice Department Wants to Limit Our Fourth Amendment Rights

By The Detroit News
Editorial Board

If Americans had no civil liberties, it would be a snap to keep the country safe and secure. Police states are highly effective at dissuading criminal activity and rooting out threats.

But as inconvenient as it often is for law enforcement, we do have a Bill of Rights that guarantees protections and procedures aimed at keeping us free, as well as safe.

Unfortunately, in recent years, many Americans have been too willing to forfeit those rights in the name of battling perceived existential threats, most notably drugs and terrorism. And federal agencies are all too keen about snatching bits and pieces of our freedoms to make it easier for them to do their jobs without the bother of adhering to the Constitution.

The latest example comes from the Justice Department, which has slipped a major intrusion on the Fourth Amendment into nearly 400 pages of arcane rule changes being considered by a judicial committee.

Federal prosecutors want to make it easier to find and hack into computers being used for cyber crimes, including child pornography and identity theft.

The Fourth Amendment limits property search warrants to geographical areas in which the signing judge has jurisdiction. The government claims the rules are no longer adequate in an era when cyber criminals can use their computers to not only hide their identity, but their whereabouts as well.

The proposed changes would allow judges in a district “where activities related to a crime” have occurred to issue a warrant. That would allow prosecutors to search computers currently outside their reach.

Civil libertarians are rightly concerned that the language of the proposal would sidestep the constitutional requirement that warrants be specific about who and what is being targeted by a search.


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Secret Service Furious Over Leaks to Media As Agency Struggles with Image

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Times are tense at the Secret Service.

The Business Insider reports that “the normally tight-lipped agency is now consumed by an intense, high-level guessing game over who was motivated to leak information to the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig,” who first published accounts of misconduct at the agency.

Secret Service officials are angry and want to know who is leaking the information.

“There’s a lot of speculation,” said an insider, calling the leaks “problematic.”

Because the accuracy of some of the reports have been called into question, some officials are questioning whether the leaker is a disgruntled employee.

“Someone or some group of people who really have a bone to pick with the agency overall,” a government source said.


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FBI’s May Have Drones But Bureau Rarely Uses Them, According to DOJ Report

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI drone program isn’t very far-reaching.

According to a newly released report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General, the FBI has 17 working drones and just two pilots, The Verge reports.

The report found that the drones operate out of one location, making it difficult to use the flying cameras nationwide. Because of the limitations, the pilots “needed to travel thousands of miles to support FBI investigations across the United States.”

The drones were only used for 13 investigations between September 2006 and August 2014.

The FBI has a $ million budget for its drones.

Other Stories of Interest



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Real Life ‘Bada Bing’ Boss Gets His Reward For Spilling The Beans About The Mob

Anthony (Tony Lodi) Cardinalle (Gang Land News photo)

Jerry Capeci is a former New York Daily News reporter and mob expert. Gang Land News is a paid subscription site. This article is published with permission.
 
By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

A mob associate who ran the Bada Bing — the Lodi, New Jersey strip club that served as headquarters for fictional TV mobster Tony Soprano — is headed to the jailhouse. But it’s just for a short stretch, one he could almost do standing on his head, or one of the other gymnastic stances practiced by his bare-chested dancers in the jiggle joint on Route 17.

Anthony (Tony Lodi) Cardinalle will serve a 30 day prison term for spilling his guts about a real Garden State mob crew that was run for years by powerhouse Genovese capo Tino Fiumara.

The light sentence is Cardinalle’s punishment for having introduced the undercover operative in the FBI’s three year investigation of the waste hauling industry in New York and New Jersey to a key soldier in Fiumara’s “Lodi crew.” Cardinalle, is slated to begin his short stretch behind bars at an undisclosed federal prison next week.

Manhattan Federal Judge P. Kevin Castel imposed sentence after the feds lauded Cardinalle’s cooperation, and his lawyer submitted 40 letters of praise about the “gentleman’s club” guru. The letters flowed in from family,friends, employees, law enforcement officials, as well as the Mayor of Lodiand Johnny Pacheco, the legendary musician/bandleader dubbed the father of Salsa Music.

Castel also fined the 63-year-old Cardinalle $10,000 and ordered restitution of the $3400 that he extorted from Charles Hughes, the FBI informer in the case. Cardinalle is the last of 19 convicted mobsters and associates who have been sentenced in the case. The charges against ten others were all dropped.

Like virtually every letter writer, Pacheco cited two important reasons why Cardinalle deserved a break: His friend is a loving family man, the music man said, one who is the primary support of a 32-year-old daughter afflicted with cerebral palsy, Tonielle. He is also a charitable, all-around good guy whenever friends, relatives, workers, business associates and even total strangers find themselves in need of a loan, a job, a place to stay, or a shoulder to lean on, Pacheco added.

Read more »


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Criminologist: FBI Distorts Mass Shooting Incidents for Political Purposes

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
The FBI’s crime statistics on mass shootings are “politically biased” to make the incidents appear more common and deadly than they actually are, according to a criminologist. 

John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told Fox News that the information is misleading and not substantiated by facts.

“The FBI put out a clearly incorrect set of numbers on public shootings shortly before the November election last year,” said Lott, a frequent opinion writer for FoxNews.com and author of “More Guns, Less Crime.” “I have been reading FBI reports for 30 years and I have never seen anything like this. It is one thing for the Bureau of Justice Statistics or the National Institute of Justice to put out politically biased studies, but there has always been a Chinese wall separating the FBI raw data collection from political pressures.”

Fox News said Lott’s group concluded there was a major flaw.

“The data was gleaned from news reports, and noted recent accounts were more accessible, and thus over-represented. Recent cases of the far more common ‘active shooting incidents’ were added to legitimate cases of mass shooting incidents, making the more recent years covered by the report appear to have a large increase in both mass shootings and deaths from them.”

 

 


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Judge Orders FBI to Release Records on Surveillance, Recruitment of Muslims

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge has ordered the FBI to release documents detailing its surveillance of Muslims and recruiting efforts in Northern California, The San Francisco Gate reports. 

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of San Francisco said the FBI must disclose previously redacted or omitted information about the programs used to conduct surveillance of Muslims without evidence of wrongdoing.

The FBI claimed that some of the information was “compiled for law enforcement purposes” and therefore are exempt from disclosure.

“Generalized monitoring and information-gathering are not sufficient justifications” to withhold information, Seeborg said.

“This decision upholds the public’s right to know about FBI activities that are not sensitive crime-fighting activities,” said ACLU attorney Julia Harumi Mass. “Communities in Northern California have a right to understand how they’re being spied upon by the government.”

The FBI declined to comment.


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Video Shows Car Erupt in Flames After Border Patrol Agent Shoots Taser

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A newly released video shows a car exploding moments after a Border Patrol agent shoots a Taser at the driver in California, NBC San Diego reports. 

The driver, Alex Martin, died after the car erupted in flames.

His family claims in a federal lawsuit that the Taser caused the explosion.

His attorney said Martin was lost and traveling on the wrong side of a highway when Border Patrol agents in unmarked cars tried to stop him.

“These agents approached in unmarked cars, in plain clothes and never identified themselves by the display of badges or even the simple statement ‘Border Patrol,’” the attorney said.

Gabriel Pacheco, a lead Border Patrol union representative, said the agents followed procedures and would not have taken such drastic measures if the driver just stopped.


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No. 2 Official at Homeland Security Accused of Helping Political Insiders

Alejandrom Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The second in command at Homeland Security is accused of intervening in cases that involve connections to political insiders “in unprecedented ways,” acceding to a report by the department’s watchdog.

The Office of Inspector General report said Alejandro Mayorkas created an “appearance of favoritism” while head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by giving special treatment in a program for wealthy foreigners to get visas, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Among those who benefited from Mayorkas’ interventions were Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and a brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The report tallied more than 15 people who blew the whistle on Mayorkas for allegedly giving special treatment to people with connections.

In a response to the report, Mayorkas defended his actions.

“I did so not because I wanted to but because I needed to,” Mayorkas wrote. “It was not easy or pleasant to hear complaints of how poorly our agency was performing … and how incompetent we were in the performance of some of our work.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he maintains “full confidence” in Mayorkas.


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