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Archive for January 22nd, 2016

Weekend Series on Crime History: Most Dangerous Double Agent in FBI History – Robert Philip Hanssen Documentary

FBI Defends ‘Deliberate And Measured’ Response to Occupation of Wildlife Refuge in Oregon

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A day after Oregon’s governor criticized federal authorities for their handling of the occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge, the FBI defended what it called a “deliberate and measured” response, NBC News reports. 

“The FBI recognizes that many in the community have questions about why we are here and our role in helping to end the occupation of the wildlife refuge,” the FBI said Thursday.

“This occupation has caused tremendous disruption and hardship for the people of Harney County, and our response has been deliberate and measured as we seek a peaceful resolution,” the FBI said.

The armed militia has occupied the refuge since Jan 2. to protest a prison sentence for a pair of local ranchers convicted of setting fire to public land.

Since then, the group has destroyed camera surveillance and paved roads at the expense of archaeological sites important to the Burns Paiute Tribe.

“There are any range of cultural artifacts that might have been impacted by this illegal construction,” Federal Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson Miel Corbett said.

Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday said “federal authorities must move quickly to end the occupation and hold all of the wrongdoers accountable.”

FBI Operated Child Pornography Websites to Help Identify Thousands of Hidden Users

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI took over one of the Internet’s largest child pornography websites last year, allowing users to download thousands of images and videos in an effort to identify the culprits.

The USA Today reports that the FBI has taken control of at least three child pornography sites while keeping them online to capture the users who have hidden behind behind an encrypted and anonymous computer network.

The FBI was able to identify hundreds of users by infecting the sites with security-busting software.

The Justice Department confirmed that the FBI operated a site known as Playpen from Feb. 20 to March 4, 2015. During that time, more than 215,000 registered users were able to access more than 23000 sexually explicit videos and pictures of children.

Authorities said the new tactic of maintaining the sites allowed them to identify people who otherwise couldn’t be tracked.

“We had a window of opportunity to get into one of the darkest places on Earth, and not a lot of other options except to not do it,” said Ron Hosko, a former senior FBI official who was involved in planning one of the agency’s first efforts to take over a child porn site. “There was no other way we could identify as many players.”

Homeland Security Investigates High School Student Who Substituted ‘ISIS’ in Pledge of Allegiance

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is investigating a 15-year-old high school student in Connecticut who substituted “ISIS” for the “United States of America” during the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Hartford Current reports that police and school administrators said the student never posed a risk to school safety.

“The Ansonia police received a complaint from the Ansonia High School administrators on Oct. 9, 2015. The [school resource officer] completed a report and we forwarded it off to Homeland Security as we would with any case that we feel needs to be brought to their attention,” Lt. Andrew Cota said.

The boy was removed from the school out of  “an abundance of caution,” but school officials declined further comment.

“In response to press reports concerning an Ansonia student making reference to ISIS during the Pledge of Allegiance, we did not deem the incident a legitimate threat to the safety of students or staff,” Superintendent Carol Merlone said. “As far as Ansonia Public Schools is concerned, the matter is resolved.”

Democrats Demand Apology from CIA Director After Agency Spied on Senate Staffers

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A group of Democrats is calling for President Obama to demand an apology from CIA Director John Brennan for spying on Senate staffers, The Hill reports. 

“We believe that it is necessary for you to address this matter directly,” Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) wrote in a letter to Obama on Thursday.

“We ask that you instruct Director Brennan to acknowledge that the CIA’s unauthorized search of Senate files was improper and will not be repeated.”

The Democrats said it’s “wholly unacceptable” that Brennan never acknowledged publicly “that this search was improper.”

Senators revealed in March 2014 that the CIA broke into a walled-off computer and searched Senate files.

The documents were related to an investigation by the Intelligence Committee of the CIA’s use of torture.

The CIA’s inspector general discovered that five agency employees had “improperly accessed” the computer in mid-2014.

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