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February 2016


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for February 26th, 2016

Weekend Series on Crime: The Mafia Mob Rats Documentary

Republican Candidates United on Apple: Help FBI Unlock Terrorist’s Phone

GOP elephantBy Steve Neavling

If Apple was hoping to find a supporter among the Republican presidential candidates, the company was disappointed after Thursday evening’s GOP debate.

Despite plenty of disagreement over immigration, the budget and foreign policy, the five candidates agreed on one thing: Apple should help the FBI unlock the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters.

“They are not asking Apple to create a backdoor to encryption,” Marco Rubio said, adding that “Apple doesn’t want to do it, because they think it hurts their brand.”

Sen. Ted Cruz said the issue was not about invading the privacy of all phone users.

“The order is not: put a backdoor in everyone’s cell phone. If that was the order, that order would be problematic, because it would compromise security and safety for everyone,” Cruz said. “But on the question of unlocking this cell phone of a terrorist, we should enforce the court order.”

John Kasich argued that President Obama should meet personally with Apple to urge the company to comply with the Justice Department’s request to open the phone.

“Lock the door, and say you’re not coming out until you reach an agreement that gives the security people what they need and protects the rights of Americans.”

Donald Trump was the only candidate who wasn’t asked about Apple, but on Twitter, he said, “Boycott Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple from Cal.”

Verizon Sides with Apple in Fight with FBI Over Unlocking Cell Phone

VerizonBy Steve Neavling

The nation’s largest mobile carrier, Verizon Wireless, is siding with Apple in its fight against the FBI over unlocking an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, The Verge reports. 

“Verizon is committed to protecting customer privacy and one of the tools for protecting that privacy is encryption,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said.

The CEO said Verizon supports “availability of strong encryption with no back doors.”

McAdam joined Apple’s Tim Cook in calling for Congress to arrive at a resolution so that the case isn’t decided by a single judge.

“The case with Apple presents unique issues that should be addressed by Congress, not on an ad-hoc basis,” McAdam said.

Verizon’s position has surprised some because the company helped the NSA with mass surveillance and bulk data-collection programs.

Homeland Security ‘Spilled’ Classified Information 100+ Times Last Year

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling

Homeland Security “spilled” classified information more than 100 times lat year, and 40% of those breaches came from one office, Bloomberg View reports.

Lawmakers and authorities warned that classified information is at risk until Homeland Security can better protect sensitive intelligence.

A “spill” is “the accidental, inadvertent, or intentional introduction of classified information into an unclassified information technology system, or higher-level classified information into a lower-level classified information technology system, to include non-government systems,” a Homeland Security official explained.

That may mean using a personal e-mail to send or receive classified material, using the wrong kind of copier or failing to properly classify sensitive information.

An internal document obtained by Bloomberg View revealed 119 classified spills in fiscal year 2015. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis in Washington had the most spills. 

Justice Department to Perform Expansive Review of FBI Lab’s Forensic Testimony

U.S. Attorney Sally Yates

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is performing an expansive review of forensic testimony by the FBI Laboratory to determine whether evidence was overstated to secure convictions, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced.

Beginning in March, the Justice Department will determine how it will audit samples of testimony from FBI units that handle pattern-based evidence, which includes crime-scene evidence such as bullet impressions, fiber, soil and shoe treads, the Washington Post reports. 

It won’t be an easy task. More than 100,000 examinations of such crime-scene evidence is conducted annually by the FBI and other crime labs.

“We are undertaking this quality-assurance review because we think it is good operating procedure — and not because of specific concerns with other disciplines,” Yates said Wednesday in an address to the American Academy of Forensic Scientists’ annual meeting in Las Vegas.

The move comes after serious flaws were found in the collection of so-called hair matches.

The FBI declined to comment.

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