A California lawmaker says the FBI raided his office because he refused to rat out two of the state’s top Democrats, NBC News reports.
State Sen. Ronald Calderon, D-Montebello, filed a federal complaint, saying agents asked him to “sting” Sen. Darrell Steinberg, leader of the state Senate’s Democratic majority and Sen. Kevin de Leon.
Calderon also is asking for a judge to hold federal investigators in contempt for leaking details of the investigation. He’s accused of accepting more than $60,000 from undercover agents in exchange for supporting legislation, NBC reported.
During a June 2012 meeting with an undercover agent, Steinberg allegedly said, “I told you man, anything you can do, any help you could do for my kids is, you know – that’s diamonds for me. That’s diamonds.”
Posted: November 15th, 2013 under News Story.
Tags: california, Darrell Steinberg, Democrats, FBI, federal complaint, federal investigators, lawmaker, leak, politics, Sting
Leak information and you face a firing squad from the Justice Department.
So suggests a page of the ATF’s online manual, some employees complained, reports the Washington Times.
With the recent mass shootings and leaks, some ATF employees were offended, saying the agency already fosters a hostile environment for whistleblowers.
ATF authorities said the photo was a light-hearted joke.
Posted: October 16th, 2013 under News Story.
Tags: ATF, firing squad, hostile environment, joke, Justice Department, leak, mass shootings, Whistleblower
The NSA has surreptitiously succeeded in unscrambling encryption that protects people’s privacy online, the New York Times reports.
It’s the latest discovery from documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
According to the Times, the NSA has been able to undermine coding to access information ranging from personal e-mails to medical records.
The NSA used supercomputers, technical trickery and old-fashion persuasion, the Times wrote.
“For the past decade, N.S.A. has led an aggressive, multipronged effort to break widely used Internet encryption technologies,” said a 2010 memo about NSDA accomplishments for employees of its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. “Cryptanalytic capabilities are now coming online. Vast amounts of encrypted Internet data which have up till now been discarded are now exploitable.”
Posted: September 6th, 2013 under News Story.
Tags: data mining, Edward Snowden, encryption, leak, NSA, privacy
The U.S. government has expressed deep disappointment over Russia’s decision to grant asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the BBC reports.
The White House is considering a number of moves to express that disappointment, including canceling a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We’re extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and in private to have Mr Snowden expelled to the United States to face the charges against him,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. “We’re evaluating the utility of a summit in light of this and other issues.”
Snowden walked out of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport Thursday with a gray shirt and a dark backpack, the Guardian reported.
“The Snowden story has exposed the impotence of 21st-century US power,” the Guardian wrote.
Posted: August 2nd, 2013 under News Story.
Tags: asylum, leak, NSA, Olympics, Putin, Russia, Snowden
Update: CNN reports that a military judge found Pfc. Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, but guilty of most of the other charges.
U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is accused of the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, could be sentenced to life in prison today, Reuters reports.
A judge is expect to render a verdict in the case against Army Private First Class Manning, 25, who’s charged with aiding the enemy by releasing 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Judge Colonel Denise Lind ruled that Manning was appropriately trained to understand that releasing the sensitive information put the U.S. at risk.
Others say the case is overblown.
“He’s just a dumb kid who got himself into a situation where he felt he was saving the world,” said Joseph Wippl, a professor of international relations at Boston University and a former CIA officer. “I think he should be convicted and they should be easy on him. They need to do more on limiting access to classified information.”
Posted: July 30th, 2013 under News Story.
Tags: bradley manning, classified information, leak, prison, sentencing, WikiLeaks
U.S. officials have said NSA leaker Edward Snowden was exaggerating when he indicated it was easy for even a low-level defense contractor to wiretap someone.
Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who broke the story, told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News on Sunday that abusing the surveillance would be easy because of the lack of oversight and controls.
“The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and email in their databases,” Greenwald said. “What these programs are are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things: it searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered; and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or connected to that IP address do in the future. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.”
If true, National Intelligence Director James Clapper may find himself in trouble. Clapper testified under oath that it would be impossible for low-level employees and others to spy on Americans because of internal controls.
Posted: July 29th, 2013 under News Story.
Tags: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, IP address, james clapper, leak, low-level employees, National Intelligence Director, NSA
The growing controversy over NSA’s domestic surveillance programs is likely to spark legislative debates that could change the extent to which feds can snoop on Americans, McClatchy Newspapers reports.
Elected officials have been growing increasingly concerned about the NSA since Edward Swowden leaked information about the surveillance last month.
“People at the NSA in particular have heard a constant public drumbeat about a laundry list of nefarious things they are alleged to be doing to spy on Americans — all of them wrong,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said last month. “The misperceptions have been great, yet they keep their heads down and keep working every day to keep us safe.”
Members of Congress said they are getting inpatient, McClatchy Newspapers wrote.
“I think the administration and the NSA has had six weeks to answer questions and haven’t done a good job at it,” said Rep. Rick Larsen, a Washington Democrat.
Posted: July 22nd, 2013 under News Story.
Tags: Congress, domestic surveillance, House Intelligence Committee Chairman, leak, legislation, NSA, Snowden
Hoping to strengthen its security to avoid another leak, the NSA is examining how former contractor Edward Snowden was able to access and remove sensitive information, The Los Angeles Times reports.
“This failure originated from two practices that we need to reverse,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at a security forum at the Aspen Institute.
“In an effort for those in the intelligence community to be able to share with each other, there was an enormous amount of information concentrated in one place,” he said. “That’s a mistake. Loading everything onto a server creates a security risk.”
The second problem, he said, “You had an individual who was given very substantial authority to access that information and move that information.… We’re acting to reverse both of those things.”
Carter said the NSA was converting to a system that would have prevented a single person from accessing the information, The LA Times reported.
Posted: July 19th, 2013 under News Story.
Tags: leak, NSA, security, security breech, Snowden