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June 2018


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for June 25th, 2018

DEA Concerned About Drug-Laced Cash

By Allan Lengel

The DEA is concerned about dirty money.

More specifically, the agency is concerned that drug-laced cash seized in narcotics busts could seriously injure—even kill—its agents, the Daily Beast reports.

So, the DEA has has begun reaching out to potential industry partners about decontaminating confiscated currency, the website reports.

“Some of the substances on the currency may be extremely harmful to human health and potentially result in death,” says a DEA solicitation posted late last week on a U.S. government procurement portal.

“It is expected that most of the substances on the contaminated currency will be controlled substances including, but not limited to, narcotics (fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, heroin), cannabinoids (marijuana, THC, JWH compounds), stimulants (amphetamines, cathinones), hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, NBOMes), depressants (benzodiazepines, barbiturates),” the solicitation continues. “Precursor chemicals used to make these substances and other unknown harmful chemicals may also be present on the currency.”

James Comey: ‘I Am Disgusted. I Am Horrified.’

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel

Fired FBI Director James Comey, in Ireland to promote his book, “A Higher Loyalty,’ said in Dublin he was ashamed.

“I am ashamed of the way my country has acted with respect of those children,” Comey said Friday in Dublin, according to the Irish Times. “I am disgusted, I am horrified, I am embarrassed, I’m ashamed.”

“My wife and I were joking, not really joking; we wanted to tell the people on the customs line coming here that we were Canadian. And we were joking but it’s funny because it reveals a truth: I’m ashamed.”

USA Today reported on the remarks in the Irish press.

FBI Turns to ‘Gray Market’ for Hackers

By Allan Lengel

The FBI has long complained about the difficulties cracking encrypted cell phones.

Rhys Dipshan of Slate reports that the agency has spent a fair amount of money hiring private hackers:

Most of the time, cracking encrypted devices comes down to finding and leveraging zero-day vulnerabilities—unknown exploitable weaknesses in software or hardware. While agencies like the FBI can do this themselves, they also outsource the task to third-party hackers and companies who operate on the “gray market”—a furtive marketplace of sellers offering zero-days and hacking services exclusively to government and corporate clients.

In 2015, for instance, the FBI paid about $1.3 million to an undisclosed gray-market company for an exploit—essentially a tool leveraging a zero-day vulnerability—that cracked a locked iPhone used by gunman Syed Farook in the San Bernardino, California, shooting, according to then–FBI Director James Comey. While the purchase received much attention, it was hardly the first time the U.S. government relied on the gray market. In 2012, the NSA bought exploits from Montpellier, France–based Vupen, a gray-market company that closed in 2015 and reopened as Zerodium. In fact, the NSA budgeted $25.1 million to purchase zero-days in 2013.

Opinion Piece: ‘Inspector General’s Report Actually Makes The FBI Look Pretty Good’

Chris Truax is an appellate lawyer in California and sits on the legal advisory board for Republicans for the Rule of Law. He wrote this for

Inspector General Michael Horowitz

By Chris Truax
For The Last Vegas Sun

There is no doubt that the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation is going to be treated like a giant Rorschach test. President Donald Trump’s partisans will froth about the “deep state,” while Clinton will wail about how James Comey stole the election from her.

But the inspector general’s report actually makes the FBI look pretty good. The report found no evidence that anti-Trump political bias had any effect on any of the FBI’s decisions. In fact, what mistakes were made can fairly be viewed as an effort to not be “pro-Clinton,” even though the FBI thought Clinton was extremely likely to be elected president.

While I have questioned Comey’s judgment, I have never questioned his integrity — and the inspector general’s report agrees. The investigation concluded that the Clinton email probe was handled appropriately, and that its decision not to charge Clinton was reasonable and in keeping with prior practice at the Department of Justice.

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