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Archive for June 11th, 2014

FBI Ramps Up Skills to Combat Growing Sophistication of International Cyber Attacks

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI defeated an insidious computer virus using anti-hacker tactics that the bureau didn’t have a few years ago, Bloomberg reports.

The cyberbattle with Gameover Zeus ended in victory last week after FBI experts reverse-engineered the virus’ communication, seized control over servers overseas and kept hackers from re-establishing contact.

“This was the most sophisticated hacking disruption we have attempted to date,” said Leslie Caldwell, the assistant attorney general in charge of the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal division. “It was a hand-to-hand combat type of situation.”

The operation show how far the FBI has come in the war against cyber crime.

In this case, the virus siphoned off more than $100 million from U.S. businesses and consumers over the past three years, Bloomberg wrote.

FBI Tried to Stop Martin Luther King Jr. from Delivering College Commencement in 1964

stanford.edu photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just days after Martin Luther King Jr. was invited to speak at Springfield College’s commencement in 1964, the FBI tried to get the school to cancel speech, the Atlantic reports in an account detailing new questionable tactics against the civil rights icon.

At the time, King had been the subject of extraordinary wiretapping at his home, office and hotel rooms where he stayed. Agents used those wiretaps to urge the college to cancel King’s commencement address.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was obsessed with discrediting King at the time.

In mid-June, King delivered his speech and spoke about segregation, pacifism and morality.

Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson Acknowledges Border Security Needs to Be Improved

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a major departure from his predecessor, new Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson is complaining that the border needs to be strengthened, the Washington Times reports.

Unlike predecessor Janet Napolitano, Johnson is urging Congress to help improve border security.

Napolitano took on the tone that the border was more secure than ever.

“When we met with him, he acknowledged right off the bat that he was well aware there was a problem on the southern border. There was not even a debate about that,” said Rosemary Jenks, government relations manager for NumbersUSA.

Johnson has been on the job for nearly six months and was alarmed by the condition at the border.

Drug Policy Alliance: DEA Impeded, Rejected Science on Medical Marijuana for 4 Decades

By Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance

For four decades, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has systematically obstructed medical research and rejected scientific evidence. It’s increasingly clear that entrusting decisions involving medical science to the DEA is akin to leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse. And what’s most striking is how little scrutiny the DEA has faced from Congress or other federal overseers.

Wednesday, members of Congress, scientific experts, medical marijuana patients and others will join us in a teleconference that will accompany the release of a new report co-published by MAPS and the Drug Policy Alliance called “The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science”.

Since the days of the Nixon administration, federal officials have described the drug classification process as based on science and evidence. But the DEA’s actions strongly indicate that their decision-making has everything to do with politics and little to do with science.

Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, the DEA’s powers include not just the ability to enforce federal drug laws, but the authority to schedule drugs and license facilities for the production and use of scheduled drugs in federally-approved research. The DEA is statutorily required to make its determinations based on scientific data. There is no indication in the legislative record that the CSA intended for drug classification to be a one-way ratchet, with only tighter controls ever envisioned. Nor was there any indication that the DEA’s decision-making process was intended to be an entirely political process.
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