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Archive for July, 2013

Opinion: Unpaid Scholarships at Justice Department ‘Misguided And Unethical’

By Sarah Mahmood
PolicyMic.com

If you naively thought that the unpaid internship grind would end after college, when all your uncompensated hard work would land you a fancy job upon graduation, you thought wrong.

Forget college, it apparently doesn’t even end after graduate school. What’s even more disheartening is that not only is this practice sanctioned by the government, in this case it is the government: the Department of Justice (DoJ) has currently employed 96 unpaid assistant attorneys, and its jobs website features advertisements for 12 more such positions.

For a Department charged with looking after the public interest, this is a misguided and unethical policy.

To read more click here.

Microsoft Helped NSA, FBI Access Personal User Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Microsoft Corp has helped U.S. intelligence service intercept users’ communication, Reuters reports.

The software company also permitted the NSA to circumvent email encryption to gain access to users.

The information comes from documents released to the Guardian by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Among the communication collected was conversations on Skype, an online chat service.

Microsoft denied the reports.

“To be clear, Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product,” the company said in a statement on its website. 

Ex-FBI Director Freeh Facing Libel, Defamation Suit Over Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal

 

Louis Freeh

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI director Louis Freeh is being sued for libel and defamation over his detailed report about the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University, the Associated Press reports.

The university’s former president, Graham Spanier, initiated the suit because of how he was characterized in the report.

The filing came just a day before the one-year anniversary of Freeh’s report, which outlined in great detail the failures that led up to longtime assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky being sentenced to prison on molestation charges.

Spanier insisted he knew nothing about the sexual assault, so he could not have “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse case,” as stated in the report, his lawyers claim.

Human Rights Groups to Meet With Snowden at Moscow Airport Where He Will Break His Silence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leaker Edward J. Snowden plans to break his silence after spending nearly three weeks in legal limbo at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, The New York Times reports.

Airport officials said Snowden plans to meet with international human rights groups Friday.

The rights workers will be escorted through security and into the transit zone to meet with Snowden, The Times reported.

Snowden reportedly sent an email to several rights organizations asking them to come to the airport.

Snowden revealed widespread phone and email surveillance by the U.S. government.

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Justice Department Accused of Supporting Anti-Zimmerman Protests After Martin Shooting

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has spent tax dollars supporting a campaign against George Zimmerman following the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Fox News reports, citing a conservative watchdog group.

The Justice Department has a branch, called the Community Relations Service, that handles conflicts over race.

According to documents cited by Fox News, the CRS agency filed a series of expenses related to late March and early April demonstrations.

One filing, for $674, shows federal officials went to a Sanford, Fla, to “work marches, demonstrations and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”

A Justice Department spokesman said the CRS was “fulfilling their mandated mission.”

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Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Appeared in Court, Yawned As He Pleaded Not Guilty

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev yawned Wednesday as he pleaded not guilty on 30 charges in federal court, the New York Daily News reports.

At times, the 19-year-old appeared to be fidgety; other times he appeared to be nonchalant, the News wrote.

One victim expressed feeling uneasy at the hearing.

“It was kind of eerie. Kind of upsetting,” said Mildred Valverde, 44, who was on crutches and suffered torn leg ligaments, nerve damage and hearing loss when one of the bombs detonated as she waited for her son to cross the finish line. “But it felt good I could be there.”

WikiLeaks Hints That NSA Leaker Snowden Is on Verge of Being Granted Asylum

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leaker Edward Snowden may soon be granted asylum, and the “obvious choice” is Venezuela, WikiLeaks hinted Wednesday, the USA Today reports.

If true, that would end weeks of an international stalemate that left Snowden in legal limbo at a Moscow airport.

WikiLeaks, which has advocated for Snowden’s asylum, tweeted on Wednesday: “The first phase of Edward Snowden’s ‘Flight of Liberty’ campaign will be launched.”

Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, who revealed NSA’s widespread surveillance following meetings with Snowden, said the leaker’s best chances for asylum are Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua.