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Archive for May 10th, 2016

Mexican Judge: Drug Kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Can Be Extradited to U.S.

'El Chapo' Guzman

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Mexican judge said Monday that the country can extradite Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the U.S.

The judge, who was not identified, said extradition can move forward if Mexico’s foreign ministry approves it within 20 days. The defense also has the right to appeal, Fox New reports. 

A Mexican security official said Guzman is lodged in a less-secure prison in an area controlled by his Sinaloa cartel.

“El Chapo” broke out of prison in 2001 and 2014.

Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Perjury After Lying During ‘Whitey’ Bulger Testimony

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent who repeatedly lied during his testimony at the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger pleaded guilty Monday to six counts each of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Robert Fitzpatrick, 76, was the assistant special agent in the charge of the FBI’s Boston division during Bulger’s violent reign and was the first to testify on behalf of Bulger’s attorneys.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Hafer lied during testimony “in order to enhance his own credibility” and to bolster Bulger’s defense, ABC News reports. 

The judge said Fitzpatrick lied about his role in Bulger’s work as a criminal informant for the FBI. He also lied about recovering the gun used to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr.

Under a plea agreement, Fitzpatrick would receive two years of probation. Sentencing is set for Aug. 5.

Retired FBI Agent Recalls Notorious, Unsolved Robbery at Boston Museum in 1990

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum  in 1990.

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Retired FBI agent and supervisor Tom Casson will never forget when he began investigating the notorious Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery in March 1990, when thieves swiped artwork valued at up to a half-million dollars.

“Two individuals dressed as Boston police officers knocked on the side door of the museum, and at the time, there were two security personnel,” Casson told 22 News WWLP. “They were part-time students who had nothing else to do at night, so they took a job at the museum. 

“There were millions and millions of dollars’ worth of paintings and these two guys were the only ones who were charged with preventing what had happened to happen. They admitted what they thought were the two Boston police officers and were told there was a problem in the courtyard that they had to investigate.”

But they weren’t police officers and tied up the two security guards. They stole works by Degas, Flinck and Manet.

“Depending on who you ask, the value of the stuff taken was anywhere from $200 million to $500 million,” Cassano said. “As of the time I left (in 2001), they knew no more than they did the day it happened. We are not sure how many (suspects) there were. We know there were at least two. These two guards were put down in the basement so nobody kept track of what was happening. We know how they came in, but we don’t know how they got out.”

Casino said his office worked full-time on the case with more than 15 agents. The FBI also offered a $5 million reward for the capture of the thieves.

“Every prisoner who was incarcerated at the time knew that this was a ‘get out of jail free’ card if they could come up with these bandits,” Cassano said. “I don’t know how many calls we got. We had hundreds and hundreds of leads and none of them panned out to this day, as far as I know.”

Hillary Clinton Received Nearly $75,000 in Donations from Justice Department Employees

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton raked in nearly $75,000 in political contributions from employees of the Justice Department, which will ultimately decide whether to pursue charges against the presidential candidate for using a private e-mail server, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The donations exceed those given to rivals Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Clinton received $73,437 from 228 Justice Department employees. Twelve employees donated the maximum $2,700.

Clinton collected less money from Justice Department employees when she ran for president in 2008. She received 23 contributions totaling $15,930.

Dave Bossie, president of the watchdog group Citizens United, said he’s not shocked but he donations this year.

“I’m not surprised in the least to see more evidence that shows the politicization of the Justice Department,” Bossie said in a statement to the Free Beacon. “How can Democrat political appointees fairly investigate someone who is about to become their nominee for president? That’s why last July I called on Attorney General Lynch to appoint an impartial special counsel to investigate the private Clinton email server.”

Government Technology: Stop Letting Cybercriminals Hide from FBI

hacker-istock-photoBy Editorial Board
Government Technology

Imagine that a criminal investigator has identified one or more computers that are part of ongoing criminal activity. Unfortunately, the people operating these computers are hiding them. The machines could be anywhere in the world, using anonymous email or tools like Tor to conceal their location.

The investigator also has a tool, a carefully engineered piece of software, which she calls a “Network Investigatory Technique,” or NIT, that will cause a targeted computer to reveal itself. Once she sends the software to the computer she’s investigating, it will reply with a message saying, “I am at this location.” The rest of the security world calls the NIT “malicious code” (“malcode” for short) and deploying it “hacking,” because the software exploits a vulnerability in the target’s computer, the same way a criminal would.

Federal court rules currently say she can use this tool only if she gets an electronic search warrant from a judge. But the computer could be anywhere: to which court should she go to get the warrant?

This is not a hypothetical problem. Online investigations face this problem all the time, when tracking down fraudsters or those issuing threats using anonymous emails, botmasters who have compromised thousands of computers around the planet or purveyors of drugs or child pornography. The current federal rules of criminal evidence (in particular a section known as Rule 41) require investigators to seek warrants from a magistrate judge in the federal court district where the target computer is located.

But if investigators don’t know where in the country, or indeed the world, the computer is, the existing rules effectively dictate that there is no judge who could approve a warrant to actually find out its specific location. In essence, the rule is, “The investigator can get a warrant to hack these computers to reveal their location only when she knows where they already are.” That rule might have made sense before the digital age, but in today’s digital world it forces an end to promising investigations.

To read more click here. 

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