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Archive for September 6th, 2016

Federal Judges Dismiss Cases After FBI Hosted Child Pornography Site

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s child pornography sting “Operation Pacifier” was successful at locating and identifying abusers, but it has come under attack by federal judges across the country.

Agents took over the “dark web” site, The Playpen, for two weeks, when 48,000 images and 200 videos of sexual abuse were posted or swapped. The FBI arrested more than 180 people in the U.S.

But the Knoxville New Sentinel reports that at least seven federal judges ruled that the FBI’s takeover of the site was illegal and violated federal rules of criminal procedure.

The judges cited constitutional violations.

FBI Tries to Become Hip to Attract Elite Coders to Crack Down on Cyberattacks

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the FBI’s biggest challenges is hackers who are targeting political and financial groups and personal computers.

To combat cyberattacks, the FBI is looking for elite coders who have the technology background to help.

“One problem? A culture clash between elite coders who are attracted to casual — or even rebellious workplaces — and the agency’s bureaucratic reputation,” the Washington Post reports. 

FBI Director James Comey is trying to make the agency hip enough to attract recruits.

“We’re working very hard inside the FBI to be a whole lot cooler than you may think we are,” he said during his remarks at a Symantec Government Symposium last week.

That doesn’t mean the FBI has added “beanbags and granola and a lot of whiteboards,” Comey said.

“But we’re working very hard at marching in that direction, so that when this talent comes into our organization we are open to having them make us better — in a way that connects us and them to our mission more closely,” he said.

The Washington Post wrote:

Despite outreach at high profile hacker conferences like Black Hat and DefCon, recruitment of tech whiz kids by law enforcement and intelligence agencies has been hampered in recent years. One issue is that they have to compete with private sector gigs that can offer better salaries and benefits.

But fallout over surveillance programs revealed in Snowden documents and the FBI’s legal battle to get Apple to help it break into a locked iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, Calif., attacks has also made government work a hard sell to some.

El Paso Times: Immigration Rhetoric Doesn’t Jive with Data

border patrol 3By Editorial Board
El Paso Times

A major state agency is proposing a massive increase in spending despite providing little if any evidence that its current spending is effective or needed. That scenario would normally bring accusations of bloated government from Texas’ conservative leadership.

But not when the subject is border security.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is proposing a 39 percent increase in border security spending for the next biennium. That comes on top of a doubling in border security spending approved in the 2015 legislative session.

If the Legislature approves the increase in spending next year – and history suggests that it will – state spending on border security will have grown from $120 million in 2010 to $1 billion.

And it’s entirely unclear what Texas is getting for all that money, other than a shift in where DPS troopers are writing traffic warnings and citations.

The idea of the border as a war zone has been popular in Republican circles for years, despite repeated evidence that illegal immigration is on the decline and border communities have much lower crime rates than comparable communities across the country.

To read more click here. 

Border Patrol Fails at Meetings Its Goal of Hiring 1,600 Women as Agents

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has struggled to hire female agents to help fight illegal immigration.

Between October 2014 and September 2015, the federal agency received more than 6,200 applications for Border Patrol job vacancies. But according to the Albuquerque Journal, only 54 women where fired – far below the goal of hiring 1,600 female agents. 

Women are vital to the Border Patrol because of the influx of Central American women and children immigrants over the past two years. The agency has said female agents are often better equipped to deal with immigrants who are women and children.

Women represent about 15% of the workforce in federal law enforcement agencies. But only 5% of Border Patrol’s agents are women.

“They are working hard,” WIFLE executive director Cathy Sanz, a retired agent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said of Border Patrol. “They are trying. Other federal agencies are watching what they are doing” – i.e., looking for signs of success in attracting women to the force – “because others are thinking they might want to go down this road.”

LAX Shooter Who Killed TSA Officer, Wounded 3 Others Expected to Plead Guilty

Paul Ciancia

Paul Ciancia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 26-year-old man accused of using a semi-automatic rifle to kill a TSA officer and wound three others at Los Angeles International Airport is expected to plead guilty Tuesday.

Paul Ciancia plans to plead guilty to 11 felony counts stemming from the November 2013 attacks in Terminal 3 at LAX, CBSLA.com reports. 

The pleas are part of a deal with prosecutors that will keep Ciancia from facing the death penalty. Instead, he is expected to be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Federal authorities said Ciancia shot TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez 12 times at a passenger ID checkpoint. Three other TSA officers were injured.

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