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Archive for September 16th, 2016

FBI Won’t Ban Agents from Masquerading as Journalists, But Imposed Restriction

AP LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When an FBI agent was exposed for masquerading as an Associated Press journalist in 2014, the media condemned the tactic, saying sources would be afraid to speak freely to reporters.

Now the FBI has imposed new restrictions on agents posing as agents, but the bureau stopped short of ending the practice.

The AP reports that agents must now gain top-level approval to impersonate journalists, which means the tactic may still be used in some cases.

The AP and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a lawsuit against the FBI last year after an agent impersonated an AP reporter by sending a fake news story “that was booby-trapped with surveillance software” in 2007. The trick led to the conviction of a teenager who had called in fake bomb threats in Washington.

The AP called the tactic “improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization.”

Nevertheless, FBI Director James Comey defended the practice in 2014 as “proper and appropriate.”

It’s unclear who often FBI agents pose as reporters.

FBI Intensifies Investigation into Russian Hackers Who Are Disrupting Election

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is boosting its investigation of Russian hackers who are believed to be targeting the Democratic Party and politicians.

Reuters reports that the FBI hopes to get enough evidence to gain indictments against Russians who are behind the cyberattacks.

The State Department said the hacking attempts by Russians are increasing and could disrupt and discredit the November elections.

“Doing nothing is not an option, because that would telegraph weakness and just encourage the Russians to do more meddling, but retaliating in kind carries substantial risks,” said one U.S. official involved in the administration’s deliberations.

Russian continues to deny its behind the hacks.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday that it’s not an easy task to track down and indict the hackers.

“We’re in unexplored territory here, and the president is quite interested in trying to establish international norms,” said Earnest. “I’ll let the FBI speak to what evidence they have amassed, but I think they’re also cognizant of the fact that as soon as they make a declaration like that, most people are going to understandably be interested in seeing that evidence. And some of that evidence may not be something we want to show.”

Suspected Bank Robber Sues FBI, City of Denver for Two False Arrests

bank robberyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man arrested twice on suspicions of robbing banks has sued the FBI, the city of Denver and its police department, claiming he was falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force and malicious prosecution.

FOX31 reports that officials dismissed bank robbery charges against Steve Tally, who is now homeless and is seeking $10 million.

His lawyers are from the same New York firm that represents the Central Park Five, winning a $40 million judgment.

Talley was arrested for a pair of bank robberies in September 2014.

Prosecutors dismissed the charged after Tally proved his alibi that he was working during the first robbery.

Months later, Tally was arreted again based on FBI facial recognition technology. But an FBI analysis later showed Talley was not the man in the surveillance video.

“He was guilty before he was proven that he was innocent,” bank teller Bonita Shipp said. “He was an innocent man. He didn’t do it.”

Expensive Equipment Stolen from ATF Vehicle in Detroit

atf badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An undercover ATF vehicle was broken into and valuable equipment stolen in Detroit on Thursday.

FOX2 reports that the break-in occurred around noon in the parking lot of a Thai restaurant.

“I guess a couple cars got broken into and then the police actually came in and got the owner of the car, which one of my waitresses and told her that her car got broken into,” said Sy Pradithavanij, owner of Sala Thai.

The ATF declined to say what was stolen, but said no weapons were taken.

The ATF vehicle was one of three cars that were broken into by pushing a tool through the keyhole.

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