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Archive for November, 2015

FBI Abandons Plans to Require ‘Backdoors’ on All Consumer Tecnhology

IPhone 6By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has backed off plans to require all consumer technology to have a so-called backdoor so that law enforcement can spy on suspects, the Business Insider reports. 

On Wednesday, FBI general counsel James Baker said the bureau has abandoned the “magical thinking” that consumer technology will be outfitted with backdoor access.

“It’s tempting to try to engage in magical thinking and hope that the amazing technology sector we have in the United States can come up with some solution,” Baker said. “Maybe that’s just a bridge too far. Maybe that is scientifically and mathematically not possible.”

The FBI persistence on the issue caused strained relationships with tech companies, like Apply, Google and Facebook, all of whom were worried about privacy rights and a backdoor for hackers.

Arizona Rancher Who Assaulted Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to Jail

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Arizona rancher who was convicted of assaulting a Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to eight months in prison, The Associated Press reports. 

Derek Garland, 48, was pulled over in April 2014 after triggering a sensor in an area known for smuggling near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Garland pulled out an unholstered pistol and was acting belligerently, yelling racial slurs and profanity at the agent.

The incident was captured on video.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: U.S. Should Offer Snowden Deal to Come Home

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Editorial Board
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 

The European Parliament has urged its member states to embrace American fugitive Edward Snowden as a “whistle-blower and international human rights defender.” The former National Security Agency contractor remains in Russia, and the Justice Department has ignored his public entreaties for a plea deal that would allow him to return to the United States and face charges.

Alternately hailed as a hero and traitor, Mr. Snowden has said he is willing to go to jail in order to return home. The United States should offer him a deal. As other countries move to protect him, the Justice Department looks vindictive in its refusal to negotiate, and Mr. Snowden’s status as a heroic figure grows the longer he remains on foreign soil, tweeting about privacy abuses.

Mr. Snowden fled to Hong Kong in 2013, before the United States charged him with theft and espionage for releasing millions of classified documents about government surveillance. Now living in Russia, he has amassed 1.6 million followers on Twitter, appeared live via video at conferences and posed for the cover of Wired magazine wrapped in an American flag.

In March, Mr. Snowden’s attorney said his client wants to come home if he can be assured of a fair trial. Although former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hinted in July of a “resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with,” none has been forthcoming, and a spokesman for the National Security Council said after the European Parliament vote that “our position has not changed” on the felony charges Mr. Snowden faces.

Other Stories of Interest

National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence Urges Obama to Give ATF Resources, Appoint Permanent Director

president obama- white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence is urging President Barack Obama to provide  ATF with adequate  resources to battle gun violence and appoint a permanent director for the agency.

In a letter dated Nov. 4, Jim Johnson, the Baltimore County Police chief, who is chair of the anti-gun violence organization, wrote to the President:

As you know, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has lacked a permanent Director since March 31, 2015. Given the critical role ATF plays — through investigation and enforcement — in mitigating the harm caused by armed criminals and illegal firearms, it is vital that ATF be publicly recognized as the critically important law enforcement entity it is, and supported through proper resourcing. That includes, ensuring that ATF has the necessary operating funds and that it has a permanent leader.

Just as the White House could not function effectively without a President, no local, state or federal law enforcement agency can do without leadership. ATF’s hard working agents and staff are adversely impacted and the agency is forced to operate at a deficit when the position of ATF Director is left vacant and without a nominee — regardless of the talent, professionalism or commitment of those who serve in the organization.

We implore you to nominate a permanent Director of ATF, and ask that you do so without delay. The law enforcement community has the utmost respect for and confidence in ATF’s Deputy Director Thomas Brandon, a career ATF special agent who has served with distinction and honor as the agency’s Acting Director since March 2015 and as the ATF Deputy Director since October 2011.

Brandon, who heads the agency, was serving as acting director since April. However, law requires that if he is not nominated for the permanent post after a certain number of days, his title revert back to deputy director. That change in title happened last week.

 

DEA Chief Agrees with FBI Director Comey That Police Are Less Aggressive After Ferguson

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The head of the DEA said Wednesday that he agrees with other law enforcement officials that police are less aggressive because of the racially-charged incidents captured on videotape.

Chuck Rosenberg said he agrees with FBI Director James Comey that the tensions nationwide have had a chilling effect on police.

“I think there’s something to it,” Rosenberg said during a press briefing on drug statistics at DEA headquarters in Arlington. “I think he’s spot on. I’ve heard the same thing.”

President Obama has disputed the claims, saying police continue to do their jobs diligently.

Whether the less aggressive policing has had an effect on crime won’t be known immediately, Rosenberg said, agreeing with Comey that it’s to early to draw conclusions.

FBI Helps Find Boy Who Was Abducted 13 Years Ago, Allegedly by His Father

missing boyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Julian Hernandez was 5 years old when he went missing.

When the FBI joined the investigation and helped find him this month, Hernandez was 18 years old.

The FBI received a tip on Oct. 30 that Hernandez may be living in Cleveland, 13 years after he was abducted from Alabama, ABC 5 reports. 

On Monday, the FBI confirmed that it was in face Hernandez and arrested his father, Bobby Hernandez.

The FBI issued this statement:

On October 30, 2015, the Cleveland FBI office received information that an individual residing in Cleveland may be a missing child from Alabama, missing since August 2002.  An investigation ensued by members of the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force joining the ongoing efforts of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Vestavia Hills Police Department and the Birmingham Division of the FBI regarding missing child Julian Hernandez.    On November 2nd it was confirmed that this young male is in fact missing child Julian Hernandez.  Julian Hernandez has been missing from the Vestavia Hills/Birmingham, Alabama area since August 2002.   Through coordination with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office,   Julian’s father, Bobby Hernandez,  was arrested and subsequently charged in Cuyahoga County Court.   Julian’s biological mother has been notified.  This matter is ongoing and no further details can be provided at this time.

Border Patrol Employee Posts Sign That Reserves Halloween Candy for ‘American families’ Only

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol employee posted a sign outside of a government building in the border town of Presidio, Texas, that reserved Halloween candy for “America families” only.

The sign, written in Spanish, translated to, “Only American families will receive candy,” the New Civil Rights Movement reports. 

The town of Presidio is more than 87% Hispanic.

CBP quickly apologized, saying it supports all cultures.

“We respect all people regardless of their culture, nationality or origin. We apologize for any harm this incident may have created in our relationship with the community,” the statement read.

Residents were outraged and offended, including the mayor, John Ferguson, who said he’s never been excluded from holiday celebrations in Mexico.

North Carolina Judge Charged with Bribing an FBI Agent for Copies of Text Messages

Smart PhoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A North Carolina judge is accused of trying to bribe an FBI agent to collect text messages between two phone numbers involving a family matter, The Associated Press reports. 

Superior County Judge Arnold Jones II was arrested Wednesday and charged with bribery.

Jones, who handles cases in three rural eastern North Carolina counties, faces up to 37 years in prison, if convicted.

Federal law prohibits the FBI from demanding text or phone information without a search warrant.

According to the FBI, the judge offered $100 for the information.