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FBI Director Wray: Wants to Bring ‘Calm and Stability’ to Bureau; Gravely Concerned About Getting Access to Mobile Phones

Christopher Wray speaks at IACP in Philly.

Christopher Wray speaks at IACP in Philly.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

PHILADELPHIA — Recently minted FBI Director Christopher Wray said Sunday at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia that one of  his immediate goals is to restore “calm and stability to the bureau.” He also  expressed grave concern about the difficulty of getting access to thousands of cell phones in criminal cases due to encryption and privacy issues, a problem often referred to as “going dark.”

“In the first 11 months of this fiscal year alone, we were unable to access the content of more than 6,900, that six-thousand-nine-hundred, mobile devices using appropriate and available technical tools even though we had the legal authority to do so. ”

“Each one of those 6,900 mobile devices is tied to a specific subject, a specific defendant, a specific victim, a specific investigation. That’s more than half …..of all the mobile devices that we attempted to access in that time frame. And that’s just the FBI.”

He called it a horrible situation that needs to be resolved.

The FBI director traditionally speaks to the attendees of the conference, who come from around the world,  and ex-Director James Comey would have attended this year’s event had he not been fired.

Wray, who calmly delivered a half hour speech, and fielded questions afterwards, got a standing ovation.

The former federal prosecutor talked about the need for the FBI to cooperate with local law enforcement and said he was pleasantly surprised to see how well the bureau had been doing in that area. He emphasized that the FBI was there to assist local law enforcement.

Wray also assured the crowd he was determined to carry out the mission of the FBI with integrity “no matter the test.”

It wan’t clear if he was talking about the general challenges of the job, or the difficulties he may face serving a president who fired his predecessor.

He said he planned to bring calm and stability to bureau  “by staying laser focused on the mission and on the work itself, day in, day out, left foot, right foot, grinding away, following the rules, following the law, following the guidelines trying  to make sure that we’re dong the right thing but in the right way, treating everybody with respect. “


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Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon and Haldeman Talk About Watergate


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AG Sessions Creates Safeguards After Reinstating Controversial Asset Forfeiture

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is creating safeguards to detect problems with the asset forfeiture program that he reinstated amid criticism from Democrats and Republicans.

In July, Sessions reversed a decision by former Attorney General Eric Holder to end the program, which had been mired in problems.

Sessions directed his deputy attorney general to hire a director to review the policy and identify and correct any problems that arise, the Washington Post reports

“The asset forfeiture program has proven to be extremely valuable to law enforcement in our country, but it has received certain criticisms,” Sessions wrote in his memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

Holder ended the program two years ago to prevent state and local police from seizing cash and other property without warrants or criminal charges.


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4-Day FBI Sweep Rescues 84 Minors, 120 Adults in Sex Trafficking Ring

cyberattack-hackers-fbiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A four-day nationwide sweep aimed combating sex trafficking to the rescue of 84 minors and the arrest of 120 people, according to the FBI.

The 11th annual Operation Cross Country involved 55 FBI field offices, 78 state and local task forces and several international partners.

“The youngest victim recovered during this year’s operation was 3 months old, and the average age of victims recovered during the operation was 15 years old,” the bureau said of the operation, which ran from Oct. 12-15.

The operation is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003 and has led to identifying more than 6,500 child identifications and locations, the FBI said in a press release.


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FBI Director Warns Feds to Resist Pressure to Act Unethically

FBI Director Christopher Wray (File photo)

FBI Director Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s new director warned agents and others in federal government to resist pressure to act unethically.

“At some point for everybody in this room and everybody in my organization, our integrity will be tested,” Christopher Wray told a Washington audience of investigators who work for federal government inspectors general, Politico reports. “It happens to everybody. It happens to all of us. It could be at a time where we’re being asked to make a decision that is inconsistent with what we know is right and what we know is true, where we’ll be asked to do something without fully thinking it through.”

Wray offered no details of the ethical challenges he expects to face, but he urged internal government watchdogs to resist the pressure.

“It could be at a time we think no one will notice, no one will know,” the FBI chief said. “I would argue that actually those are the times where we need to stay most true to our core integrity and our professionalism. To think critically and thoughtfully and to do what’s right, not just for ourselves individually so we can look ourselves in the mirror as leaders, but for our agencies and the government and the public that we all serve.”


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FBI Informant in Prison for 4 Murders Faces New Charges

Former FBI informant Scott Kimball

Former FBI informant Scott Kimball

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI informant already sentenced to prison for four murders is accused of plotting to kill from behind bars and escape from the Sterling Correctional Facility.

Scott Kimball, 51, is facing new charges of solicitation of first-degree murder and one count of attempted escape, 9Wants reports

Kimball was acting as an FBI informant from 2003 and 2004 when he killed three young women and his uncle. He was sentenced to 70 years in prison.


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Another Man Dressed at Pikachu Jumps Over White House Fence

secret-servic-via-secret-serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Kentucky man dressed as a Pokemon character wanted to become famous so he  jumped the White House fence on Tuesday.

Curtis Combs, 36, was wearing a Pikachu outfit and planned to post the jump on YouTube, WDRB reports

The Secret Service tweeted that a suspicious package was found at the south fence line.

Combs is not the first person to try to jump the White House fence wearing a Pikachu outfit. He was apprehend by the Secret Service.

Other Stories of Interest


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Supreme Court Will Hear Data Privacy Issue Between DOJ and Microsoft

depositphotos_61179679_m-2015

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department continues to do battle  over privacy.

Kate Conger of GIZMODO writes:

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a critical case over data privacy, the outcome of which will likely determine how easily law enforcement can gain access to information stored in tech companies’ overseas data centers. Microsoft will go head-to-head with the Justice Department, arguing that the agency cannot use a warrant to collect emails held in Microsoft’s Ireland data center.

In 2016, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Microsoft, asserting that a 1986 law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), was not intended to grant law enforcement access to internationally-stored data. The Justice Department says that this ruling has hampered its investigative abilities in the digital age. In asking the Supreme Court to consider the case, the Justice Department argued that “hundreds if not thousands” of investigations into terrorism and child pornography “are being or will be hampered by the government’s inability to obtain electronic evidence.”

Other Stories of Interest 

 


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