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Archive for March, 2016

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Case Involving Random Detention of Motorists Near U.S. Borders

US_Supreme_CourtBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court on Monday announced it would not consider a case involving limits on random detention of motorists within 100 miles of a border.

The case involves an Air Force officer, Richard Rynearson, who was detained for 34 minutes at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Uvalde County, Texas, despite authorities having no suspicion that he was an undocumented immigrant or criminal, Reason.com reports. 

In a 1976 decision in the United States v. Martinez Fuerte, the Supreme Court concluded random stops at immigration checkpoints did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

The justices reasoned that each stop “involves only a brief detention of travelers” during which “all that is required of the vehicle’s occupants is a response to a brief question or two and possibly the production of a document evidencing a right to be in the United States.”

The court had said “the average length of an investigation in the secondary inspection area is three to five minutes.”

FBI, Secret Service Investigate Threatening Letter Sent to Donald Trump’s Sister

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Secret Service are investigating a threatening letter received by the Donald Trump’s sister, who is a federal appeal court judge in Philadelphia.

Maryanne Trump Barry, 78, received the letter on Friday, Metro reports. 

Authorities also are investigating a letter sent to Trump’s son, Eric Trump, who found a granular substance in the delivery.

The letter to Trump’s sister did not contain water powder but demanded that Trump drop out of the presidential race.

DEA: Flight Attendant Fled After Trying to Smuggle Nearly 70 Pounds of Cocaine

Cocaine-jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is on the hunt for an airline employee accused of trying to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of what appears to be cocaine onto a plane.

The flight attendant was pulled aside for a random screening last week at Los Angeles International Airport, KRCA reports. 

The female fight attendant fled, leaving behind luggage filled with cocaine, according to the union for LAX police officers.

The union said the case underscores why everyone should be screened before entering an airport.

“LAX is the top West Coast terrorist target and has been the site of airport employees smuggling drugs aboard aircrafts and other criminal activities,” the statement said. “100 percent screening has the potential to stop an ‘insider’ or ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attack and to help decrease the opportunities for airport employees to commit crimes.”

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Says It May Have Found Way to Unlock iPhone Without Apple’s Help

Apple logo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department on Monday asked for a delay of a court hearing in its battle with Apple over the encryption of an iPhone from San Bernardino shooting, saying it may have found a way to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.

In a motion filed Monday in federal court in Central California, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles wrote:

Since the attacks in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) has continued to pursue all avenues available to discover all relevant evidence related to the attacks.

Specifically, since recovering Farook’s iPhone on December 3, 2015, the FBI has
continued to research methods to gain access to the data stored on it. The FBI did not cease its efforts after this litigation began. As the FBI continued to conduct its own research, and as a result of the worldwide publicity and attention on this case, others outside the U.S. government have continued to contact the U.S. government offering avenues of possible research.

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible
method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is
viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.

Read Justice Motion

How Apple Set Off a Behind-the-Scenes Battle with FBI Over Encryption

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Soon after Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone’s latest mobile-operating system, iOS 8, in Jun 2014, the company gave the FBI early access to the technology.

The new system involved encryption that would make it impossible for the FBI and even Apple to gather information from a phone without a password.

The new encryption “set off a behind-the-scenes battle that ultimately spilled into the open last month” after a judge approved a Justice Department order to force Apple to help the FBI open a phone by one of the San Bernardino shooters, Bloomberg wrote in a lengthy piece about the long-simmering battle between law enforcement and the tech giant.

 “The reason the relationship went south is the government was expecting some degree of accommodation on the part of the technology companies,” said Timothy Edgar, the former director of privacy and civil liberties for the White House National Security Staff from 2009 to 2010. “They were expecting the companies to essentially back down and not go forward with new security measures that would make it impossible for you to access devices or communications. They were caught off guard by basically being told to get lost.”

Privacy advocates are worried that the Supreme Court or Congress could set a legal precedent that would require tech companies to unlock security features.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher,” said Alex Abdo, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s speech privacy and technology project, which has filed a brief supporting Apple. “This is an unprecedented legal question with extremely significant policy and technological implications.”

FBI Helps Bangladesh Investigate Massive $81M Cyberheist, Kidnapping of Crime Expert

BangladeshBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping Bangladesh investigate a massive heist by hackers who stole $81 million from the country’s central bank last month.

The stolen money was funneled to casino in the Philippines by hackers from six different countries, Time reports. 

“This is the biggest transnational organized crime ever seen in Bangladesh and so we sought both technical and human assistance [from the FBI],” Mirza Abdullahel Baqui, a senior police official, told Reuters.

The theft escalated after one of the country’s leading cybercrime experts, Tanvir Hassan Zoha, was kidnapped while helping investigating the case.

“This is a wake-up call,” former central bank governor Mohammad Farashuddin said.

Before Zoha was kidnapped, he had told the media he identified three of the user IDs involved in the heist – one of the world’s largest.

Secret Service Investigates ‘Anonymous’ Claims of Releasing Personal Information about Donald Trump

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 8.04.25 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigating hacker activist movement Anonymous after it claimed to uncover personal information about Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, Time reports.

“The U.S. Secret Service is aware of the Internet postings of Candidate Donald Trump’s personal information,” a spokesperson for the Secret Service confirmed to Time. “We are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this matter.”

An Anonymous member posted a YouTube video that compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and then said the movement released Trump’s Social Security number, cell phone number and other personal information.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the information was correct.

Border Patrol Union Says Donald Trump ‘Only Candidate’ to Support Agents’ Mission

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The largest union local representing Border Patrol declared that Donald Trump was the “only candidate” to support agents’ mission.

Mr. Trump is the only candidate that has publicly expressed his support of our mission and our agents,” said a statement from Art Del Cueto, president of Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents 18,000 agents. 

“He has been an outspoken candidate on the need for a Secure Border and for this we are grateful,” the statement said, the Washington Examiner reported

The union stopped short of endorsing Trump, who is the Republican frontrunner.

“The American public has continually called for a secure border and Donald Trump has promised to make this desire a reality. His campaign has expressed an interest in a Border Patrol’s Agent’s perspective and a tour of our border, that we will gladly provide,” Del Cueto wrote. 

Trump has talked tough about the border and insists that he’s going to build a wall with money from Mexico.