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Weekend Series on Crime History: Chicago Mobster Tony Spilotro; 30 Years of ABC News Footage

Facebook, Twitter Support Apple’s phone encryption battle with FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are siding with Apple’s fight against the FBI’s attempt to weaken encryption.

“We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services,” Facebook said in a statement Thursday.

“However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: We stand with @timcook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)!”

The comments come after a federal magistrate ordered Apple to make it easier to crack the iPhone’s password. The FBI has been unable to access an iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino killer.

Technology companies are worried about setting a legal precedent to allow the government to using hacking tools to access private information.

The FBI argues that the uncrackable encryption is thwarting its fight against terrorism.

Buffalo Woman Accused of Supporting ISIS, Threatening FBI Agents on Twitter

Safya Roe Yassin

Safya Roe Yassin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Buffalo woman is accused of using Twitter to make pro-ISIS statements and threaten two FBI agents.

A criminal complaint says Safya Roe Yassin, 38, tweeted the names, phone numbers and cities of two FBI agents under the words, “Wanted to Kill,” the Springfield News-Leader reports. 

Yassin also is accused of using dozens of Twitter accounts to post statements supporting ISIS.

“The West thinks that caging Muslims will stop ‘terrorism’ …but they will be finding out soon, it only increases the attacks against them,” one of the tweets read.

Yassin has been charged with communicating threats of violence over the Internet.

Inspector General: Remote Border Patrol Facilities Riddled with Security Issues

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Most of the remote Border Patrol facilities along the southwest border are riddled with security issues, according to a report by the Homeland Security Inspector General.

Seven of the 11 facility, known as “Forward Operating Bases,” were inspected and found to have security lapses, such as inoperable cameras, ABC News reports. 

Some have problems with providing safe drinking water to employees, and one facility had inadequate living conditions.

“Because of their proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, it is essential that FOBs are equipped with proper, functioning surveillance equipment,” the report stated.

The report also criticized customs officials for failing to perform required inspections and keeping documentation of repairs.

“Without regular inspections and timely maintenance and repairs, CBP cannot ensure it will continue to provide adequate security, safety and living conditions,” read the report.

West Texas Man Found Guilty of Trying to Kill Border Patrol Agent

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A West Texas man faces up to 20 years in prion after a jury found him guilty of trying to kill a Border Patrol agent.

Carl Wayne Wiley, of Midland, was found guilty of one count of attempting to kill a Border Patrol agent, one count of assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, or interfering with Border Patrol agents using a deadly or dangerous weapon, and two counts of using and discharging a firearm.

Wiley fired a gun at a Border Patrol agent after a high-speed pursuit.

Wiley faces a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.

DEA Leaves Seized Drugs Vulnerable to Theft, Tampering, Report States

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug seized by the DEA are left vulnerable to theft or tampering, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report released Thursday.

The DEA often improperly documents or tracks its seized drug, compromising evidence used in court, Govexec.com reports. 

For example, inspectors found that DEA was placing seized drugs in temporary forage for more than the maximum three days in nearly 70% of the cases examined by the IG. The DEA often fails to enter the drugs into the comprehensive tracking system.

“We believe that the longer a shipment is in transit or missing, the higher the likelihood that theft or tampering of the drug exhibit can occur,” the IG wrote.

Inspectors all found that the DEA failed to locate drug seizure documents.

“Gaps in the formal documentation of the chain of custody for drug exhibits can compromise the security of the drugs and jeopardize the government’s ability to use the evidence in court proceedings,” the IG said.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Hasn’t Ruled Out a Third Person in San Bernardino Shootings That Killed 14

imgres

By Allan Lengel and James Gordon Meek
ABC News

More than two months after a jihadi couple opened fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, killing 14 and wounding more than 20, the FBI has still not ruled out the possibility that a third militant was at the scene of the slaughter, officials told ABC News this week.

In the immediate hours after the Dec. 2, 2015 shootings, some witnesses told law enforcement officers and reporters that they saw three gunmen at the center. But by the end of the day, the FBI had issued a statement saying there were only two confirmed shooters, local residents Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. Farook worked with many of those he gunned down at the party.

“What we have confirmed is evidence indicating that two weapons were fired at the Inland Regional Center,” Laura Eimiller, a spokesperson for the FBI Los Angeles, told ABC News this week. “But in the absence of video it’s something you can’t entirely rule out until every question is answered. There’s still unanswered questions.”

To read the full story click here.

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Blasts Apple Over Encryption Issue

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The battle is on with Apple, which has vowed to fight a federal court order to help the FBI undo the encryption for a phone that belonged to one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino shooting on Dec. 2.

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a letter online Wednesday night:

“In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

“The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

Now, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), is firing back with a statement from Nathan Catura:

Tim Cook has grossly misrepresented the intentions of the FBI and the federal government. His implication that the US government wants to break into Apple customers’ phones is akin to police searching a person’s home without a warrant.

Before the FBI or any law enforcement agency is able to search someone’s phone, they must first obtain a court order issued by a federal judge or magistrate. In this case, it is outrageous for the CEO of one of the largest technology companies to suggest that federal agents are invading individuals’ privacy after the lawful presentation of a federal court order. Tim Cook is employing fear-mongering tactics to prevent law enforcement from performing their duties.

For the safety of all Americans, it is imperative that we continue to support and protect our national interest and national security. That is the goal. Unfortunately, Tim Cook is neglecting this fact which begs the question: how many more lives will be ruined or lost because the likes of Tim Cook and other billionaires who have a financial stake in the industry don’t believe in American jurisprudence?

This is a country of laws and no one, not even Tim Cook, is above that. He stands here, without any legal merit, actively choosing to ignore a federal court order. His arrogance has given him a false sense of superiority when it is in fact his responsibility as an American citizen to recognize and adhere to our system of laws, which were put in place to ensure both individual and national security. Tim Cook does not get to decide what laws he must comply with. That’s not the American way of justice.

 

It’s time for Apple and Tim Cook to abide by the law and do their part to prevent another terrorist attack on American soil.”