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Archive for April 22nd, 2016

Weekend Series on Crime History: Frank The Las Vegas Boss Cullotta

FBI Paid At Least $1.3M to Unlock San Bernardino iPhone, Director Suggests

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An undisclosed group of hackers received at least $1.3 million to help the FBI unlock an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, the New York Times reports. 

FBI Director James Comey was asked at a technology conference in London on Thursday how much the bureau paid for the outside group.

“Let’s see, more than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months, for sure,” Comey said.

Comey makes about $185,000 a year – or $1.35 million for the remainder of his 10-year term.

The FBI had been unwilling to disclose the amount spent on unlocking the phone and declined to comment on the specific cost.

Judge Upholds FBI’s Right to Keep ‘National Security Letters’ a Secret

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI can continue to keep “national security letters” secret after issuing them to demand customer records from phone companies, banks and others, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. 

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled the letters don’t violate freedom of speech and are permitted after Congress passed the USA Freedom Act last year.

Illston said government showed the need to keep confidential three of the four letters issued to unidentified technology companies in 2011 and 2013. The fourth letter won’t be disclosed pending a government appeal.

Recipients of national security letters “still can be gagged at the FBI’s say-so, without any procedural protections, time limits or judicial oversight,” said attorney Andrew Crocker of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Justice Department Allows CIA Torture Lawsuit to Proceed in Stunning Reversal

torture1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a stunning reversal, the Justice Department is allowing a lawsuit by alleged victim of the CIA’s torture program to proceed, the New York Magazine reports. 

The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of three former CIA prisoners. The suit alleges human right violations by two psychologists and former Air Force trainers whose company received a contract to help the CIA run the program.

The Justice Department previously blocked similar cases by invoking the state-secrets privilege.

The ACLU may have been given a hand by the Senate’s investigation of the torture program, which was released in December. The probe found that torture produced very little useful intelligence.

Homeland Security Lawyer Sentenced to Month in Jail for Forging Document

justice-dept-photo-with-woman-and-courtBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security lawyer who forged documents in a deportation case was sentenced to one month in prison.

Jonathan Love, a former assistant chief counsel, admitted he made a document appear that a Mexican man was ineligible for deportation relief, the ABA Journal reports. 

Love, 58, pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under the color of the law.

Love said he has no idea why he doctored the document.

“Why did I do this? If I truly knew, I would not be standing here in front of you,” Love wrote in a letter to his sentencing magistrate judge. “It was stupid and unnecessary, and the consequences of my actions have tarnished my hard work and dedication to public service for the last 30 years.”

Other Stories of Interest