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June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


FBI: More Than 300,000 Could Lose Web Access in July


In the wake of a multi-million-dollar online scam, more than 300,000 computer users worldwide could find themselves without Web access this summer.

Luckily for them, it will only take a few clicks to clean things up.

The FBI announced that it’s created a website where users can check whether they’re infected with malware and remove it if they are. Check your computer here — The site was at times difficult to access on Monday, presumably due to heavy traffic.

To read more click here.




FBI Seizes Server in Anonymous Pittsburgh Bomb Threat Case

Shoshanna Utchenik

Feds roiled progressives, leftists, and free speech activists last Wednesday when they removed a server from the co-location of  Riseup and May First/People Link offices in NYC  — all part of an FBI probe into bomb threats against the University of Pittsburgh, according to the organization Riseup.

The FBI appeared to target the server because it  hosted Mixmaster, which is operated by European Counter Network (“ECN”) and allows people to send anonymous emails.

Riseup promotes itself as providing online communication tools for people and groups promoting social change. May First/People Link describes itself as a ” a politically progressive member-run and controlled organization that redefines the concept of “Internet Service Provider” in a collective and collaborative way. ”

Disabling Mixmaster shutdown several other services, and led Riseup to accuse the FBI of using a “sledge hammer approach.” Riseup states in a press release that the seizure closed down over 300 email accounts, between 50-80 email lists including the oldest discussion list in Italy on the topic of “cyber rights”, and several other websites, none accused of wrongdoing.

Riseup spokesperson Devin Theriot-Orr stated, “We sympathize with the University of Pittsburgh community who have had to deal with this frightening disruption for weeks. We oppose such threatening actions. However, taking this server won’t stop these bomb threats” because the anonymizing software does not log sources or routes of messages. “The only effect it has is to also disrupt e-mail and websites for thousands of unrelated people.”

To read more click here.

FBI and Homeland Security Not Only Agencies That Want to Fly Drones

istock photo

By Allan Lengel

The FBI and Homeland Security aren’t the only law enforcement agencies that have gotten permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones in the friendly sky.

CNET reports that new documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation from a lawsuit against the feds show that some very small police department have gotten permission from the FAA including Herington, Kan., (population 2,526) and Gadsden, Ala.

FBI Returns Wedding Ring to Head of Michigan Militia

Hutaree members- Stone Sr. is in upper left hand corner /southern poverty law center photo By Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — The wedding ring has been returned.

The leaders of a Michigan militia, who was acquitted in a high-profile case in Detroit that involved allegations of killing cops and revolting against the government, has finally gotten his wedding ring after two years, Ed White of the Associated Press reported.

The feds had seized the ring from the Hutaree militia leader David Stone Sr. along with other items including credit cards and military-style gear. Stone, his wife Tina and five other members were acquitted of the charges of revolting against the government.

On Friday, Stone and his wife Tina parked a pickup and trailer outside a fed building in downtown Detroit where the FBI is housed and collected their belongings — including the ring and military gear — from FBI employees, AP reported.

The acquittals in March were a major embarrassment  to the federal government. Defense attorneys all along had said the case was bogus. The feds insisted the threats and the plotting were real.



NY U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara Among Time’s Most 100 Influential People in the World

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

By Allan Lengel

Included in a list of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World are folks like President Obama, comedian Steve Colbert, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Bharara is in obviously good company. And in the media’s endless search for Superman figures and heroes,  and good vs. evil, Bharara’s name has surfaced before.

He’s gotten his fair share of good press over time. He’s been called the “The Sheriff of Wall Street”, and in fact, he graced the cover of Time magazine in February with the headline: “This Man is Busting Wall St.”

The Time shoutout is just the latest bit of good press.

Time notes, in a short piece written by law professor and former assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh, that Bharara’s Manhattan team “has battled terrorism, convicting the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad; crippled international criminal networks run by Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, Jamaican drug trafficker Christopher Coke and Colombian rebal group FARC; and in March secured a halfbillion-dollar forfeiture from computer contractor SAIC in the biggest fraud ever against New York City. Those are good cases well prosecuted.

Time also notes that he has the ability to “see the next battleground”, a reference to the indictments of the Anonymous and LulzSec hacker networks.

“What sets him above is the patience honed by principle,” the article states. “Preet resisted the temptation of a sloppy kill and instead waited for the facts. His 58-0 record for insider-trading cases bodes ill for the bankers whom his office has charged with reckless lending practices or inflating mortgage values.”

FBI and NYPD Reopen 1979 Etan Patz Disappearance

fbi photo archive

Shoshanna Utchenik

The disappearance of 6-year- old New York boy Etan Patz 33 years ago has never been resolved nor forgotten.

The New York Times reports 40 police and FBI investigators swarmed a SoHo art storage space on Thursday morning, ready to disassemble the 13 by 62 foot space brick by brick in search of the boy’s remains. The flurry follows release of a search warrant in response to the reaction of a cadaver-sniffing dog in the long-observed storage space.

“Obviously we’re hopeful that we’ll find evidence in the disappearance of Etan Patz,” F.B.I. spokesman Tim Flannelly told the NY Times. “But the take-away of this is that we’re committed to these types of investigations, as is the N.Y.P.D. And we’re trying to bring closure to the investigation and the family, and we’re not going to be frustrated by time.”

At the time of Patz’s disappearance in 1979 there was a world-wide hunt, and he was one of the first missing children to be displayed on milk cartons.

To read more click here.

Judge Orders Ex-Congressman William Jefferson to Prison

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel

Prison is calling for ex-Congressman William Jefferson, the New Orleans politician who gained national fame after the FBI found $90,000 stuffed in his freezer in 2005.

Bruce Alpert, the star reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reports that the fed judge in the case on Friday ordered Jefferson, 65, to report to prison by May 4 to begin serving his 13-year sentence for his public corruption convictions.  The judge revoked his $50,000 bail.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis of Alexandria, Va., sentenced Jefferson in November 2009, but he remained free pending his appeal. The 13-year sentence is the toughest ever handed down to a member of Congress.

A three-judge panel for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month rejected Jefferson’s bid for a new trial.

The Times-Picayune reported that Jefferson’s attorneys plan to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The Picayune reported that Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Lytle, speaking in Ellis’ courtroom Friday morning, said Jefferson wasn’t likely to prevail in future appeals.

FBI Busts 15 in $8.7 Mil Midwest Unemployment Insurance Scam

Shoshanna Utchenik

In general, the entrepreneurial spirit should be lauded. Unfortunately, in this case, it was purely criminal.

According to an FBI press release, 15 defendants allegedly registered 80 fake business names in Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota, then used these to file for unemployment insurance benefits to the tune of $8.7 Million. Defendants reportedly received unemployment debit cards for themselves, friends and family members, using false social security numbers and the sham businesses. A federal grand jury indicted the 15 defendants Tuesday in Illinois on 60 counts that include a range of tax, fraud and identity theft charges.

To read more click here.