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Tag: Spy

FBI Seeks New Authority to Hack into Computers, Spy on Users Anywhere

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is seeking new authority to hack into computers and spy on their users, the Guardian reports.

The Justice Department is requesting that an obscure regulatory advisory board change the rules of searches and seizures. The two will meet Nov. 5.

Civil liberties groups claim the new rules would violate the first and fourth amendments and are questioning why the Justice Department is seeking the permission without public debate or congressional oversight.

“This is a giant step forward for the FBI’s operational capabilities, without any consideration of the policy implications. To be seeking these powers at a time of heightened international concern about US surveillance is an especially brazen and potentially dangerous move,” said Ahmed Ghappour, an expert in computer law at University of California, Hastings college of the law, who will be addressing next week’s hearing.

The proposed changes involve court-approved warrants, which currently require surveillance to occur in the same district as the judge who approves the warrant.

The proposed changes would eliminate that requirement and allow the FBI to hack into any computer.

The FBI has been having troubles tracking some hackers because their locations are hidden by tools such as Tor.

 

Family Takes Note of Former FBI Agent Robert Levinson’s Disappearance After Seven Years

Robert Levinson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It has been seven long years since FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while on a mission for the CIA in Iran.

“Today we remind the world that, after seven years, Bob is still not home with those who love him – his wife, sons, daughters, grandchildren and friends,” the family said in a emailed statement Friday, ABC News reports. “Bob’s continued imprisonment defies the humanity in all of us. After seven years, we have almost no words left to describe our life without Bob… We miss everything about [him]. No matter where we turn, Bob is absent.”

Levinson was retired from the FBI when he was kidnapped from Kish Island off Iran’s coast on March 9, 2007.

Only recently was it discovered that Levinson was working as a freelance spy for the CIA.

The family’s attorney expressed anger that the real story of his work as a CIA was never divulged.

“[R]ather than acknowledge what they had done and try and save Bob’s life, they denied him,” McGee said.

Weekend Series on Crime: FBI Agent Robert Hanssen’s Betrayal of America

httpv://youtu.be/6oi3jIILVmc

FBI Capable of Spying on Computer Users by Remotely Activating Web Cams

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The little web cam at the top of your computer may seem innocuous, but advanced technology is allowing the FBI to activate the camera and monitor you, the New York Post reports.

Investigators can see real-time images by remotely turning on web cams.

But that’s not it.

New technology also is allowing the FBI to download files, e-mails and photos.

Columnist Argues Congress Should Get Rid of Beleaguered DEA

Bill Piper
The Seattle Times

Note: Piper is the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Already plagued by scandals, the agency has recently been revealed to be collaborating with the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on unsuspecting Americans. More than 120 groups from across the political spectrum and around the globe have called on Congress to hold hearings on the DEA.

There is no doubt the agency should be reformed. It is also worth asking if it should continue to exist.

According to a Reuters investigation, the DEA has been gathering information from other agencies, as well as foreign governments, for years. The DEA has also been collecting its own arsenal of data; constructing a massive database with about 1 billion records.

This information is shared in secret. By hiding the origins of its data from defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges, the agency and its partners effectively are undermining the right of the people it targets to a fair trial.

To read more click here.

FBI Targeted Suspected Spy Pretending to Date Him

By Scott Daugherty
The Virginian-Pilot

© August 17, 2013

Step one to building an attempted-espionage case: Respond to your target’s personal ad on Craigslist.

Step two: Pose as a single woman interested in a relationship and exchange dozens of emails.

Step three: Go on a couple of dates at Town Center.

That was how the FBI started to investigate Robert Patrick Hoffman II last year after learning that the former sailor from Virginia Beach had spent three weeks in late 2011 in Belarus.

To read the full story click here.

Ana Montes Did Much Harm Spying for Cuba. Chances Are, You Haven’t Heard of Her

Anna Montes

By Jim Popkin
Washington Post Magazine

WASHINGTON — Ana Montes has been locked up for a decade with some of the most frightening women in America. Once a highly decorated U.S. intelligence analyst with a two-bedroom co-op in Cleveland Park, Montes today lives in a two-bunk cell in the highest-security women’s prison in the nation.

Her neighbors have included a former homemaker who strangled a pregnant woman to get her baby, a longtime nurse who killed four patients with massive injections of adrenaline, and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, the Charles Manson groupie who tried to assassinate President Ford.

But hard time in the Lizzie Borden ward of a Texas prison hasn’t softened the former Defense Department wunderkind. Years after she was caught spying for Cuba, Montes remains defiant.

“Prison is one of the last places I would have ever chosen to be in, but some things in life are worth going to prison for,” Montes writes in a 14-page handwritten letter to a relative. “Or worth doing and then killing yourself before you have to spend too much time in prison.”

Like Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen before her, Ana Montes blindsided the intelligence community with brazen acts of treason.

To read the full story click here. 

Pres. Obama’s Visit to Israel Stirs Up Old Sensitive Issue About Spy Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard/wikipedia


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s visit to Israel is stirring up a longstanding, sensitive issue involving Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel while working for U.S. Naval intelligence.

Seymour D. Reich, a lawyer and former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, writes this week in a letter to the editor of the New York Times that “the treatment of Jonathan Jay Pollard has smacked of vindictiveness.”

He writes that President Obama should set Pollard free on humanitarian grounds when he returns from Israel.

He notes that the “usual prison sentence for spying for friendly countries is four to five years.”

He writes:

“Mr. Pollard was initially incarcerated in a hospital for the criminally insane, though he was not insane. It was only when former Representative Lee Hamilton intervened that Mr. Pollard was moved out — to a maximum-security prison in Illinois, where he was held in solitary confinement for almost seven years. When Elie Wiesel and I visited him there, he expressed remorse for his deeds and has done so publicly since.

As you report, he has served for 28 years, and “a growing number” of former American officials “have called for clemency.”