Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2021
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



DEA to Crack Down on Synthetic Drug That is Causing Deaths, Erratic Behavior

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is tackling yet another disturbing trend involving a synthetic drug that is causing hysteria and bizarre behaviors among users.

The substance is known as “flakka” and is similar to bath salts, Vice News reports. 

The drug is primarily manufactured in China and sold online under brand names like “Cloud Nine,” Scarface,” and “Lunar Wave.” The drug sells for about $3 to $5 and is often accompanied with a warning that it’s “not for human consumption.”

The drug mimics the effects of methamphetamine and other speed.

One reported user ran naked through the streets of Florida and tried to stab a cop with his own badge. In another incident, a Florida man ran naked from what he believed was a pack of vicious German shepherds.

In Broward County in southern Florida, a medical examine reported 63-flakka-related deaths since September 2014. Last summer, emergency rooms in the country admitted more more than 300 people for symptoms related to flakka.

Taking synthetic drugs is “nothing but a game of Russian roulette,”  chief DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told VICE News said. “The unknown should scare people. You don’t know where it came from, or the kind of lab it was manufactured in.”

Other Stories of Interest

Economic Times: Apple Should Recognize Limits to Privacy in Age of Terrorism

Apple logoBy Editorial Board
Economic Times

Does individual privacy trump national security or vice versa is the question that lies at heart of the tussle between tech major Apple, and the US law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It puts the spotlight on the challenges of privacy in a digital era in a dangerous world. The FBI would like Apple to help break the encryption that protects the iPhone 5s used by Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Apple has, in the decade since the iPhone became available, helped US law enforcement agencies gain access to locked phones. Apple argues that complying will require it to create a software code that will override the passcode protection that is controlled solely by the user of the phone, a privacy safeguard adopted to address the loss of public faith, and the loss of revenue, following Edward Snowden’s revelations of how the US National Security Agency used backdoors for spying.

Apple has drawn a line in the sand, protesting what it terms as a dangerous precedent for government intrusion on the privacy and safety of citizens. Privacy and security are now at odds. This dichotomy must be resolved given that technology has become pervasive, and will continue to permeate all facets of our lives. Technology is agnostic, and has been used with dangerous effect by terrorists. It is ironical that the same privacy safeguards available to law-abiding citizens become a protective shield for terrorists, preventing law enforcement agencies to mine information that could be crucial to ensuring the security of all citizens.

To read more click here. 

Hillary Clinton Says FBI Hasn’t Told Her She Is Target of E-Mail Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton said during a Democratic town hall debate Monday that it was a “mistake” to “use a personal computer” when she was secretary of state, but emphasized that the FBI has not told her she is under investigation.

Fox News anchor Bret Baier told Clinton that “I’ve heard others say that neither you nor your lawyers have been apprised that you’re the target of the investigation.”

Clinton responded, “Absolutely not.”

She repeated the answer when asked, “Have your or your lawyers been apprised that your current or former staff are targets of the investigation?”

Clinton said she did nothing wrong by using the personal email account at the State Department.

“There’s much misinformation going on around here,” Clinton continued. “I have said it was not the best choice to use a personal email. It was a mistake.

“However, I am not alone in that. Many people in the government, past and current, on occasion or as a practice, done the same.”

Clinton added, “Nothing I sent was marked ‘classified.’”

Her comments come about a week after the Justice Department granted immunity in exchange for cooperation to former staffer Bryan Pagliano, who helped build Clinton’s server. 

Metallurgy Company in U.S. Accused of Illegally Exporting Cobalt-Nickel Powder to Iran

iran-mapBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CEO of a metallurgy company in New York is accused of illegally exporting to Iran a powder that could be used to produce nuclear-tipped rockets, the Daily Beast reports. 

The FBI arrested 44-year-old Erdal Kuyumcu of Woodside, New York, of Global Metallurgy, on charges of exporting a half-ton of the cobalt-nickel powder on

The charges come after Tehran agreed to suspend its nuclear program.

The Daily Beast points out that the powdered metal does have “perfectly legitimate applications in industries unrelated to nuclear weapons.”

Nevertheless, the U.S. is concerned about any material that could be used for an atomic-capable rocket.

The Justice Department alleges that Kuyumcu shipped the power to Iran twice without the necessary approval from the U.S.

“To conceal the true destination of the goods from the U.S. supplier, Kuyumcu and a co-conspirator arranged for the items to be shipped first to Turkey and subsequently to Iran,” the Justice Department stated in a release.

U.S. Government Appeals Judge’s Ruling That Apple Not Obligated to Help FBI

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government is appealing a recent ruling by a New York Judge who said the FBI and Justice Department cannot force Apple to unlock an iPhone that is part of a drug investigation, the Guardian reports. 

The Justice Department is arguing that Apple is able to gather the evidence and has assisted law enforcement in dozens of other similar cases. It’s only recently that Apple began fighting efforts to unlock phones.

The case is important because it could set a precedent on whether companies can sell “warrant-proof” technologies.

Apple and the FBI are in federal court on another case in which the company refuses to help investigators unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooter.

Inspector General Investigating Secret Service Agent Who Slammed Photographer to Ground

A Time photographer is slammed to the ground by a Secret Service agent at a Donald Trump rally.

A Time photographer is slammed to the ground by a Secret Service agent at a Donald Trump rally.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s inspector general is investigating a Secret Service agent who choke-slammed a Time magazine photographer during a Donald Trump rally in Virginia, Politico has confirmed.

Videos taken at the event show a tense exchange between the photographer and the Secret Service agent, who has not yet been identified. One video appears to show photographer Chris Morris chest-bumping the agent before he threw the photo-journalist to the ground.

“We do have an independent investigation regarding that incident,” Arlen Morales, spokesman for the inspector general, said.

Morales said the goal is to have a “short turnaround” on the investigtion.

The Secret Service declined to comment on the investigation, but referred to a previous statement about the episode.

“The matter involving an encounter between a member of the Secret Service and a member of the media is under review and we therefore cannot comment further,” the statement said.

Time has contacted the Secret Service to express concern about the “level and nature” of the agent’s response.

Other Stories of Interest

San Francisco Chronicle: Why Apple Should Stand Firm in Its Fight Against the FBI

Apple logoBy Editorial Board
San Francisco Chronicle

Since a pitched legal battle between the FBI and Apple began last month, the arguments over encryption and national security are deepening. A pair of test cases have produced inconclusive wins for each side. Neither Silicon Valley nor federal sleuths are budging.

But personal privacy and doubts about law enforcement’s motives give Apple the better argument in the case springing from the horrific San Bernardino shootings that left 14 dead. FBI Director James Comey told a congressional panel that his agency will be back with more demands to pry into other smartphones if he succeeds in unlocking an iPhone belonging to one of the killers.

That ghastly crime demands a full investigation. But if the FBI gets Apple to unlock a single smartphone, it sets an unnerving precedent. A powerful tool, once developed, will be hard to put away. Already other prosecutors and police departments are lining up garden-variety cases in which encrypted phones figure.

Apple, one of the world’s wealthiest corporations, isn’t without flaws. After the furor over National Security Agency eavesdropping — with which Apple quietly cooperated — the firm added more encryption to iPhones, the better to sell its products. Privacy became a marketing point, making its lofty-sounding protests a tad hypocritical.

But other principles are at stake. The FBI is dictating that a company write lock-busting software that lessens the worth of its own product. Once this handiwork is done, it could create a digital backdoor that criminals or hackers could exploit. Repressive countries such as China could demand Apple do the same and cough up password overrides, a worry underlined this week by the head of the U.N.’s human rights chief. The FBI’s plausible hunt for information on the San Bernardino shooters could swing out of control.

 

To read more click here. 

Questions Raised about FBI Targeting High School Students Who Show Signs of ‘Extremism’

schoolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is now targeting high school students who could be potential extremists.

New FBI guidelines are calling for high schools nationwide to report students who are critical of government policies and “western corruption” in an effort to get an early warning about potential sympathizers of terrorism, Alternet reports.

The guidelines warn of “anarchist extremists” and young people who travel to “suspicious” countries.

The “Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools” guidelines were released in January and “are almost certainly designed to single out and target Muslim-American communities,” Alternet argues.

“However, in its caution to avoid the appearance of discrimination, the agency identifies risk factors that are so broad and vague that virtually any young person could be deemed dangerous and worthy of surveillance, especially if she is socio-economically marginalized or politically outspoken,” Alternet reports.

The new guidelines suggest high schools can be hotbeds of extremism.

“High school students are ideal targets for recruitment by violent extremists seeking support for their radical ideologies, foreign fighter networks, or conducting acts of violence within our borders,” the document warns, claiming that youth “possess inherent risk factors.”