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ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging No-Fly List

plane window2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Wednesday challenging the government’s right to put someone on a no-fly list without them having the opportunity to challenge the decision, Reuters news service reported.

The suit, filed on behalf of 10 U.S. citizens, says thousands of people have been barred from flying and asks for systemic reform, Reuters reported. It also challenges the constitutionality of the list. It claims it violates individual rights.

The no fly-list was created in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Some people who shouldn’t be on the list have appeared on there including children.

But some complain more people should be on it.

To read more click here.

ICE and Fed Prosecutors Shut Down 9 Websites in Crackdown on Movie Piracy

sex-and-the-city-2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now of days, you can see almost any movie — be it new or old — without going out to the the theater or renting a video– and all for free.

Unfortunately,  the whole set up is illegal.

On Wednesday, federal authorities clamped down and disabled nine websites that allowed people to download pirated movies, some which had just been released, the Associated Press reported.  Some of the free movies included Karate Kid and Sex and The City 2.

As part of the broadsweeping crackdown, AP reported that authorities seized assets from 15 bank, investment and advertising accounts, and executed residential search warrants in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Washington.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York spearheaded the effort.

U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said, “Criminal copyright

infringement occurs on a massive scale over the Internet, and reportedly results in billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy,” N.Y. U.S. Preet Bharara said in a statement. “That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people. That’s why we took today’s action. If your business model is movie piracy, your story will not have a happy ending.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Visits Afghanistan to Talk About Corruption

eric holder-msnbcBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder came to Afghanistan on Wednesday to talk to officials about the justice system and public corruption, which seems to be running rampant, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that Holder’s visit comes in wake of Afghan’s top prosecutor’s denial that he was being pressured to look the other way when it came to pursuing cases against high ranking officials.

“Fighting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Afghanistan are top priorities for this administration, and we will continue to assist the Afghan government in creating and sustaining the effective criminal justice system to which the Afghan people are entitled,” Holder said in a statement issued by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, AP reported.

To read more click here.

Michigan Man Charged with Extorting Money from John Stamos Says FBI Destroyed Compromising Photos of Actor; FBI Denies That

John Stamos

John Stamos

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A northern Michigan man busted by the FBI on charges of trying to extort $680,000 from actor John Stamos, said his plan was to sell unflattering photos of the actor as part of a legit business transaction. He said it was not part of any extortion plot as the government claims, the Associated Press reported.

The claims came in court filings in Michigan on Tuesday. The defendant, Scott Sippola also claimed in court papers that the FBI destroyed the unwholesome photos of Stamos, AP reported.

The FBI said no pictures that would have embarrassed Stamos even existed, the AP reported.

The government says they tried to get $680,000 from Stamos. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat says Sippola’s claims are a “standard defense in blackmail cases.”

Stamos’ TV credits include “ER” and “Full House.”

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Cold War Colder Than Most Thought

Yes, the Cold War is colder than you thought.  AOL News’ Andrea Stone looks into a practice many thought was a thing of the past between the U.S. and Russia.

icecube2By Andrea Stone
AOL News

WASHINGTON— The news of a suspected suburban spy ring couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just days before, President Barack Obama stood beside Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the White House and declared they had “succeeded in resetting” the relationship between the two former Cold War rivals.

Perhaps something got lost in the translation.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, condemned the arrests and said he hoped “that all the positive gains that have been achieved in our relationship will not be damaged by the recent event.”

Just because relations have thawed between the two countries, though, is no reason to stop spying on each other.

“Espionage is a fixture of international politics, for better or worse,” said Charles Kupchan, former director of European Affairs at the National Security Council. The presence of the spies “is disturbing and comes at a very awkward moment, … but this news is hardly a bombshell or a sign that Russia is behaving in a way that constitutes a dramatic departure from the norm.”

To read more click here.

Man Gets 55 Months for Striking Tex Border Patrol Agent With Vehicle

Border Patrol
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An El Savador man illegally living in Houston was sentenced Tuesday to 55 months in prison for assaulting a Border Patrol agent with his vehicle  near Laredo, Tex. while trying to transport 10 illegal aliens, authorities said.

Authorities said that on Feb. 15, 2009, at approximately 10 p.m., Border Patrol agents spotted 10 suspected undocumented aliens running out of the brush and into the the Isuzu Rodeo of Rigoberto Torres-Gomez, 30.

A Border Patrol agent approached the vehicle and tried apprehending the illegal aliens and started struggling with one of them in front of the vehicle, authorities said.

The agent drew his service weapon, ordered Torres to turn off the vehicle and directed all the occupants to get out.

At that point, Torres accelerated and hit the agent with the vehicle, authorities charged.

The agents tried to get out of the wayand fired his service weapon, wounding Torres, authorities said. Both Torres and the agent were treated at the hospital.

FBI Trying to Modernize in Areas Like Paying Informants

atmBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is finally stepping into the 21st Century when it comes to things like paying informants.

The website Main Justice reports that the FBI plans to issue agents debit cards to pay informants. Currently, agents have to cash  bureau-issued checks to pay an informant.

The site also reported that the agency is looking into automating requests for telephone records and using voice recognition software for agents to dictate interviews.

“We’ve been looking at what takes people away from their investigative work,” David Schlendorf, acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Resource Planning Office told Main Justice.

“A lot of that is administrative work. We’ve been asking: What we can do to eliminate that? How can we make this more efficient?”

To read more click here.

Ex-Undercover FBI Operative Eric O’Neill Who Brought Down Robert Hanssen Comments on Russian Spy Case