Archive for May 27th, 2016
A new bill would give the FBI more flexibility to gain warrantless access to online records of Americans.
Two U.S. senators have criticized the 2017 intelligence authorization bill as an overreach that could make it easier for federal investigators to use National Security Letters to access email records, messaging accounts, login records, browser history and social media activity, the Guardian reports.
Although the text of the bill hasn’t be discloed yet, Sen. Ron Wyden said the change represents a sweeping expansion of warrantless surveillance.
“While this bill does not clearly define ‘electronic communication transaction records’, this term could easily be read to encompass records of whom individuals exchange emails with and when, as well as their login history, IP addresses, and internet browsing history,” Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon who voted against the bill, told the Guardian.
Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico said he hope to remove the NSL expansion on the bill.
“The FBI has not made a convincing case that it needs any process other than the one that already exists, especially one that freely allows the FBI access to law-abiding Americans’ emails and web activity,” Henrich said.
Burden Pasenelli, a former special agent who shattered gender barriers in the FBI, died Tuesday in Arizona following a brief illness.
Pasenelli was 71.
A former Seattle police officer, Pasenelli joined the FBI and became the bureau’s first female assistant director and first woman special change in charge of a bureau office, the Seattle Times reports.
Pasenelli was described as a no-nonsense pioneer and a loyal friend.
After 26 years with the bureau, Pasenelli retired in 1999. “She really was exceptional, both as a leader and as a person,” said Kate Pflaumer, the former U.S. Attorney in Western Washington and a longtime friend and colleague of Pasenelli.
Pasenelli rose to power at a time when there were very few female agents.
“I was raised on a farm,” she said in a 2012 FBI video interview. “I could work as hard as any man could, so I figured I was worth as much as any guy.”
More than 40 Secret Service agents were disciplined stemming from the disclosure of the personnel files of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.
The agent who leaked the information has resigned, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said.
The investigation led to 41 agents being disciplined, from receiving letters of reprimand to suspensions without pay for up to 45 days, ABC News reports.
“Like many others I was appalled by the episode reflected in the Inspector General’s report, which brought real discredit to the Secret Service,” said Johnson.
Agents searched the confidential personnel file of Chaffetz, who was investigating a number of security lapses and scandals at the Secret Service.
Airports frustrated with long security lines are considering firing TSA screeners and replacing them with private contractors.
As wait times have topped two and three hours at some airports, airports are looking for ways to ease the delays, Bloomberg reports.
Officials at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are “discussing a variety of options” that included replacing TSA with a private a contractor.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is considering a similar move.
San Francisco International uses private screeners.
Jeff Holmgren, the TSA federal security director at the Seattle airport, maintains “there is no statistical difference in terms of effectiveness or efficiency” between federal and private screeners.
A judge dismissed a charge against an FBI worker in Idaho accused of tipping off her husband about a child pornography investigation.
Local News 8 reports that 6th District Magistrate Judge Rick Carnaroli dismissed the charge, saying the state didn’t meet its burden of proof.
Prosecutors alleged Jennifer Barnett, head of building security at the FBI office in Pocatello, informed her husband about the investigation before it was completed.
Because the charge was dismissed without prejudice, the state could refile charges against Barnett.
Other Stories of Interest
- FBI, Police Looking for More Victims of ‘Child Predator’
- ACLU to Join Microsoft Lawsuit Against Department over Secret Surveillance
- FBI Hopes Billboard Leads to Information about 9-Year-Old’s Killer
- Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Shares Strategy to Get What You Want
- Philadelphia Judge Admits He Lied to the FBI