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Archive for September 16th, 2014

FBI’s Facial Recognition System Reaches ‘Full Operational Capability,’ Ready to Use

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s new facial recognition system is now fully operational, the bureau announced Monday.

The Next Generation Identification System also will replace the FBI’s fingerprint identification system.

“The IPS facial recognition service will provide the nation’s law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities,” the FBI said in a press release. “This effort is a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler.”

The system has been criticized by civil rights groups who claim the people without criminal records are going to be turned into suspects.

The civil liberties group, Electronic Frontier Foundation, argues the system is an invasion of privacy.

“Law enforcement agencies, probation and parole officers, and other criminal justice entities will also greatly improve their effectiveness by being advised of subsequent criminal activity of persons under investigation or supervision,” EFF said in a press release. “The IPS [Interstate Photo System] facial recognition service will provide the nation’s law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities.”

FBI’s Washington Field Office Focuses on Returning U.S. Hostages Held by Terrorists

Andrew McCabe/fbi photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

American journalist Theo Curtis said he might not be alive if not for the FBI.

FBI agents in the Washington D.C. field office had been working on getting Curtis released from Syria, where he had been held by an Islamist group, the Washington Post reports.

The FBI “deserves some credit for what it did for me,” Curtis said in an interview.

The field office is handling the investigation into the kidnapping and killing of Americans by the Islamic State.

Leading the office is Andrew G. McGabe, who the Washington Post described as a “rising star” who could be the next deputy director after the retirement of Mark F. Giuliano.

“It’s been an intense couple of years,” McCabe says.

Judge: Jill Kelly May Press Forward with Lawsuit Against FBI Over Invasion of Privacy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Jill Kelley may continue pursuing her lawsuit against the FBI over the scandal involving former CIA Director David Patraeus, a judge ruled Monday.

The New York Daily News reports that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman declined to dismiss a case by Kelly, who claims the FBI and Justice Department violated her privacy by leaking personal information about her to the media.

The case came to light when Kelly told the FBI in 2012 that she had been receiving harassing emails, which turned out to be from Paula Broadwell, who was having an affair with Patraeus.

Soon after, the news media obtained personal information about Kelley.

The judge’s decision, however, does not touch the merits of the case.

 

FBI Investigates Missouri Officer’s Use of Stun Gun After Teen Hospitalized in Critical Condition

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a Missouri police officer’s use of a stun gun to subdue a 17-year-old during a traffic stop.

The Associated Press reports that the stun gun left Bryce Masters in critical condition.

The incident happened in the suburban Kansas City community of Independence.

Police said the officer resorted to using stun gun because the teen was physically resisting.

The officer is on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Maters’ family was seeking a federal probe.

The FBI’s Kansas City field office is handling.

Justice Department Launches Plan to Identify Radicals with U.S. Passports As ISIS Threat Grows

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department opened a new front on the war against radicals.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced plans to identify radicals with U.S. passports.

The idea is to identify Americans before they travel abroad.

“We have established processes for detecting American extremists who attempt to join terror groups abroad,” Holder said.

Holder has said that dozens of Americans are joining terrorists in Syria.

“In the face of a threat so grave, we cannot afford to be passive,” he said in Oslo two months ago.

Attorneys for Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Tsarnaev Deny Impersonating FBI Employees

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Prosecutors are accusing the defense lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of posing as FBI employees to investigate their client’s background in Russia, the Boston Globe reports.

“Let us be clear: At no time have members of the defense team misrepresented themselves or lied about their work,” Tsarnaev’s lawyers wrote in papers filed Monday in US District Court.

Calling the allegations “false and facially preposterous, ” the lawyers charged that prosecutors had made an “absurd charge.”

Russian authorities recently told the U.S. government that Tsarnaev’s defense team traveled to Russia to investigate the case and falsely claimed they were FBI employees.

“While conducting interviews in Russia, the members of the defense team reportedly refused to produce documents confirming their legal status and identified themselves as employees of the FBI,” prosecutors wrote. “As a result, the Russian government . . . expelled them.”