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Archive for March 26th, 2015

Report: DEA Agents Had ‘Sex Parties’ With Prostitutes Hired By Drug Cartels

By Sari Horwitz
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Drug Enforcement Administration agents allegedly had “sex parties” with prostitutes hired by local drug cartels overseas over a period of several years, according to a report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s watchdog.

The report does not specify the country where the parties occurred, but a law enforcement official familiar with the matter identified it as Colombia.

Seven of the 10 DEA agents alleged to have participated in the gatherings — most of which took place at “quarters” leased by the U.S. government — admitted to having attended the parties, the report found. They received suspensions of two to 10 days.

To read more click here.

Report Says FBI Successful in Thwarting Terrorism But Needs Improvements

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The 9/11 Review Commission credited the FBI for thwarting terrorist attacks but said the bureau needs to improve intelligence and hire more linguists, according to a report released Wednesday, the New York Times reports.

While the commission applauded the FBI’s ability to prevent terrorism, the report said the bureau lags “behind marked advances in law enforcement capabilities” because of its struggle to effectively collect and analyze information.

“This imbalance needs urgently to be addressed to meet growing and increasingly complex national security threats, from adaptive and increasingly tech-savvy terrorists, more brazen computer hackers and more technically capable, global cyber syndicates,” the report said.

Wednesday’s report was far more optimistic than a 2004 report that called for major changes in the FBI. The report said the bureau has made a lot of significant improvements.

Detroit News: Justice Department Wants to Limit Our Fourth Amendment Rights

By The Detroit News
Editorial Board

If Americans had no civil liberties, it would be a snap to keep the country safe and secure. Police states are highly effective at dissuading criminal activity and rooting out threats.

But as inconvenient as it often is for law enforcement, we do have a Bill of Rights that guarantees protections and procedures aimed at keeping us free, as well as safe.

Unfortunately, in recent years, many Americans have been too willing to forfeit those rights in the name of battling perceived existential threats, most notably drugs and terrorism. And federal agencies are all too keen about snatching bits and pieces of our freedoms to make it easier for them to do their jobs without the bother of adhering to the Constitution.

The latest example comes from the Justice Department, which has slipped a major intrusion on the Fourth Amendment into nearly 400 pages of arcane rule changes being considered by a judicial committee.

Federal prosecutors want to make it easier to find and hack into computers being used for cyber crimes, including child pornography and identity theft.

The Fourth Amendment limits property search warrants to geographical areas in which the signing judge has jurisdiction. The government claims the rules are no longer adequate in an era when cyber criminals can use their computers to not only hide their identity, but their whereabouts as well.

The proposed changes would allow judges in a district “where activities related to a crime” have occurred to issue a warrant. That would allow prosecutors to search computers currently outside their reach.

Civil libertarians are rightly concerned that the language of the proposal would sidestep the constitutional requirement that warrants be specific about who and what is being targeted by a search.

Secret Service Furious Over Leaks to Media As Agency Struggles with Image

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Times are tense at the Secret Service.

The Business Insider reports that “the normally tight-lipped agency is now consumed by an intense, high-level guessing game over who was motivated to leak information to the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig,” who first published accounts of misconduct at the agency.

Secret Service officials are angry and want to know who is leaking the information.

“There’s a lot of speculation,” said an insider, calling the leaks “problematic.”

Because the accuracy of some of the reports have been called into question, some officials are questioning whether the leaker is a disgruntled employee.

“Someone or some group of people who really have a bone to pick with the agency overall,” a government source said.

FBI’s May Have Drones But Bureau Rarely Uses Them, According to DOJ Report

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI drone program isn’t very far-reaching.

According to a newly released report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General, the FBI has 17 working drones and just two pilots, The Verge reports.

The report found that the drones operate out of one location, making it difficult to use the flying cameras nationwide. Because of the limitations, the pilots “needed to travel thousands of miles to support FBI investigations across the United States.”

The drones were only used for 13 investigations between September 2006 and August 2014.

The FBI has a $ million budget for its drones.

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