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Archive for August, 2017

Neighbor Hacked into College Students’ Wireless Account to Download Child Pornography

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six years ago, FBI agents knocked on the door of three honor students at the University of California in Davis because the roommates’ AT&T wireless router was used to access child pornography.

“When it became pounding, I stumbled out to open the front door – to the complete and utter shock of having FBI agents on my front porch shoving a warrant in my face and suddenly appearing armed in my home,” Caitlin Fitzgerald wrote in a letter to the FBI two weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee reports. “Even thinking about it now, years later, my stomach starts to tighten.”

Turns out, the roommates’ 22-year-old neighbor was downloading child pornography by using “his great computer savvy” to hack into their password-protected wireless account, according to federal court records.

Today, the neighbor Alexander Nathan Norris is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Sacramento, where prosecutors are calling for a 17.5-year sentence on charges of possession and distribution of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

“This case is not a run-of-the mill child pornography case because the defendant hacked into and used his neighbors’ password-protected wireless internet to download and distribute child pornography, thereby roping innocent bystanders into his criminal activity,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Morris and Shelley Weger wrote in their sentencing memorandum to the judge.

“His actions caused the FBI to search his neighbors’ personal computers, cell phones, bedrooms and living space.”

Homeland Security to Waive Environmental Laws to Erect Border Wall

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.


By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A stretch of border wall will be replaced without an assessment to the environment, the Trump administration announced Tuesday.
The Washington Post reports that Homeland Security plans to waive requirements under the National Environmental Protection Act, which mandates extensive reviews of environmental impacts.
Calling it an overreach, the Center for Biological Diversity in San Diego plans to challenge the decision.
The Post wrote:

It will mark the sixth time that the department has exercised that authority since 2005 and the first time since 2008.

A law passed in 2005 gave Homeland Security broad authority to waive “all legal requirements” to build border barriers following years of ultimately unsuccessful court challenges to border wall construction in San Diego on grounds that it violated environmental laws.

Congress passed the law to blunt similar efforts elsewhere and it led to hundreds of miles (kilometers) of new U.S.-Mexico border fencing in the final years of President George W. Bush’s administration to its current total of about 650 miles (1,040 kilometers).

Last week, the House of Representatives approved the administration’s request for $1.6 billion to start building Trump’s border wall, which would include replacing 14 miles (22 kilometers) in San Diego covered by the latest waiver and building 60 miles (96 kilometers) of new barriers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. It was unclear if or when Homeland Security would issue waivers for Texas, which is currently the busiest corridor for illegal crossings.

Christopher Wray Is Easily Confirmed By the Senate for For FBI Director

FBI Director Christopher Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As expected, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday easily confirmed Christopher Wray as the new director of the FBI by a vote of 92-5, ABC News reports.

The confirmation comes nearly three months after President Trump fired James Comey.

The votes in opposition came from five Democrats, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Ed Markey, D-Mass.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

No nominee for the position, which has required senate confirmation since 1973, has ever received more than one “no” vote, ABC noted.

.

A Trump Coverup? President Drafts Misleading Letter about Son’s Meeting with Russians

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump personally drafted his son’s misleading statement in response to a report that Eric Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, the Washington Post reveals

The president’s advisers wanted to release a statement that was truthful so there was no chance it was repudiated later.

But that changed when the president decided to personally dictate the statement himself, suggesting the meeting with the Russian lawyer was to discuss “a program about the adoption of Russian children.” The statement emphasized the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”

Turns out, those claims were misleading, with Trump Jr. acknowledging he was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a campaign by the Russians to help the elder Trump get elected.

The president’s advisers are now concerned that the president’s “direct involvement leaves him endlessly vulnerable to allegations of a coverup.”

Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, denied the president was behind the statement.

“But he was,” the Washington Post responded.   

2 Tipsters Receive $50,000 Reward for Information Leading to Polygamous Leader Lyle Jeffs

Lyle Jeffs' mugshot

Lyle Jeffs’ mugshot

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two people who helped the FBI track down and arrest polygamous leader Lyle Jeffs received a combined $50,000 reward from the bureau.

Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, fled from his home in Salt Lake City in June 2016 after he was awaiting trial on food stamp fraud charges.

The tipsters spotted Jeffs pawning tools at a Yankton, South Dakota, store in early June 2o17.

A day later, an off-duty police officer spotted Jeff’s vehicle in Yankton, conducted a traffic stop and arrest the fugitive.

“This case highlights the importance of reporting anything suspicious, no matter how insignificant it may seem,” said FBI Salt Lake City Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dan Brady. “In this case, the tipsters were observant and acted on instinct. There is no doubt their involvement led to Jeffs’ quick arrest.”

Republican Congressman Calls for Resignation of Robert Mueller

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona.

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Arizona congressman is calling for the resignation of special counsel Robert Mueller, suggesting he had two conflicts of interest.

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., joined President Trump’s claims that Mueller should be disqualified to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election because at least four people on the special counsel’s staff donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“These obviously deliberate partisan hirings do not help convey impartiality,” Franks told KTAR.

Franks also took aim at Mueller’s longtime relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired.

“No one knows Mr. Mueller’s true intentions, but neither can anyone dispute that he now clearly appears to be a partisan arbiter of justice,” U.S. Rep. Trent Franks said in a statement. “Accordingly, the law is also explicitly clear: he must step down based on this conflict of interest.”

Trump adviser Newt Gingrich also weighed in.

“Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. Look who he is hiring,” Gingrich tweeted.

Who Will Replace John Kelly as Homeland Security Secretary? Here Are 4 Possible Candidates

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After President Trump tapped Gen. John Kelly as the new White House chief of staff, speculation has been mounting about who will replace him as head of Homeland Security.

For now, Deputy Secretary of DHS Elaine Duke, is filling the role as acting secretary.

So who could become the next Homeland Security secretary?

According to an examination of several news stories, here are the possible contenders for the high-profile position:

  • Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  • Thomas Homan, acting director of ICE
  • White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert

Immigrant Father Arrested After Dropping Off Daughter at School Faces Imminent Deportation

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just minutes after dropping off his 12-year-old daughter at a school in California, ICE agents arrested her father, Romulo Avelicia-Gonzalez, for being in the country illegally.

Held in a federal detention center since he was arrested on Feb. 28, Avelicia-Gonzalez learned that he could be deported as early as next week, the Los Angeles Times reports

Avelicia-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen who has lived in the U.S. for 25 years, was detained because he had two decades-old misdemeanor convictions – driving under the influence and receiving stolen car tags.

Cellphone video of the arrest has gone viral, prompting outcry over his arrest.

Other Stories of Interest