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Archive for May 8th, 2015

Weekend Series on Crime: The Top 5 Hackers of All Times

NSA Blasted for Unlawfully Collecting Data on Every American’s Phone Calls

Edward Snowden has been outside of the U.S. since leaking the NSA data, making the same claim that the surveillance was illegal.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a crushing defeat to the President Obama administration, a federal appeals court has unanimously ruled Thursday that the NSA violated the law by collecting data on all U.S. telephone calls.

The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the surveillance program was “an unprecedented contradiction of the privacy expectations of all Americans,” The Los Angeles Times reports.

The court ruled in sharply worded language that the NSA had no right to spy on Americans who were not targets of counter-terrorism efforts.

Now Congress must decide how to reform the bulk collection of phone data.

“This is a huge step for individual Americans’ rights,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.), an outspoken opponent of the program. “This dragnet surveillance program violates the law and tramples on Americans’ privacy rights without making our country any safer.”

The decision also at least partially vindicates Edward Snowden, who has fled U.S. prosecution after revealing the illegal records.

FBI Warned Garland Police about Shooter Just 3 Hours Before Violence Unfolded

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI warned Garland police that one of the two gunmen who would open fire outside a cartoon contest to draw Prophet Muhammad in Texas may be targeting the event just hours before the shooting, The New York Times reports. 

“We developed information just hours before the event that Simpson might be interested in going to Garland,” FBI Director James Comey told reporters.

Comey was referring to Elton Simpson, 30, who opened fire with Nadir Soofi, 34.

The FBI had investigated Simpson in the past and reopened the investigation in March flowing tweets about ISIS.

Even before the warning about Simpson, the FBI notified local officials that the cartoon even may be targeted by terrorists.

Report: American Psychological Association Helped CIA with Torture Program, Now Assists FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The American Psychological Association has been complicit in the CIA torture program, violated the ethics code and now appears to be assisting the FBI with similar programs, according to a blistering 60-page report by experts and doctors.

The report, “All the President’s Psychologists,” alleges that the APA, which prohibits psychologists from making judgments on torture, has closely coordinated with the White House, CIA and Department of Defense to help get around ethical lines on torture.

The report alleges that the federal agencies secretly worked with APA to change its ethics policy to align it with the requirements for the CIA’s torture program.

The FBI has not commented on revelations that the APA is working more closely with the bureau.

Justice Department Public Integrity Section Gets New Leader

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s powerful Public Integrity section, which investigates politicians and judges, has a new leader, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

U.S. Attorney Jack Smith, who has been a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, brings a wealth of background and knowledge to the position. Smith was a criminal prosecutor, for example, in the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

Smith has tapped a top deputy – Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Raymond Husler, who has been acting chief of the Public Integrity section.

The Washington Post has more.

Secret Service Adds Sharp Spikes to White House Fence to Stop Jumpers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After several embarrassing failures to protect the White House from jumpers, the Secret Service has added sharp metal spikes to the fence, NBC News reports. 

“The temporary design solution for the White House complex fence is meant to improve security, while minimizing visual impacts and respecting the significance of the White House,” the Secret Service and the National Park Service (NPS) said in a statement.

The Secret Service also plans to add an officer’s booth at the entrance of the White House.

Work is expected to begin today.

Other Stories of Interest