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Archive for December 1st, 2016

FBI to Gain Authority to Hack Millions of Computers After Senate Failed to Stop Changes

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is about to get the authority to hack millions of computers under President-elect Donald Trump.

That’s because lawmakers at midnight failed to stop changes to the federal code of criminal procedure, Huffington Post reports. 

Starting Thursday, the changes allow a Department of Justice official to get a warrant that lets the FBI hack numerous devices by asserting that a single computer crime may involve million of networked devices.

Opponents of the changes said there’s no assurance from law enforcement officials that people’s privacy won’t be violated.

“At midnight tonight, this Senate will make one of the biggest mistakes in surveillance policy in years and years,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who tried with a Republican and Democratic senator to delay or rein in the new FBI powers. “Without a single congressional hearing, without a shred of meaningful public input, without any opportunity for senators to ask their questions in a public forum, one judge with one warrant would be able to authorize the hacking of thousands, possibly millions of devices, cell phones and tablets.”

Gazette: Trump Should Nominate Mitt Romney for Secretary of State

Romney at CPAC 2011. Courtesy Gage Skidmore.

Courtesy Gage Skidmore.

By Editorial Board
Colorado Springs Gazette

After witnessing a dinner meeting with Mitt Romney this week, the country waits anxiously to learn whether President-elect Donald Trump will nominate him for secretary of state.

This week, Trump also met with former Gen. David Petraeus, whom he praised afterward, floating his name for the same position. It is no surprise Trump was impressed with Petraeus’ knowledge of foreign affairs, given Petraeus’ experience as top Army general and commander and as director of the CIA.

Trump will have to make his own decision, but we urge him to pick Romney.

The former Massachusetts governor met with The Gazette’s editorial board when he sought the presidency in 2012 as the GOP nominee. He impressed us with a deep command of foreign policy.

Romney’s selection would be a magnanimous act of reconciliation and would deepen the sense that the president-elect is big enough to welcome a wide range of views and doesn’t harbor grudges.

To read more click here. 

FBI: Ohio State University Attacker May Have Been Inspired by ISIS

Abdul Razak Ali Artan

Abdul Razak Ali Artan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Ohio State University student who attacked people with his car and a knife Monday may have been inspired by ISIS, the FBI said Wednesday.

The attack injured 11 people before a university police officer shot and killed Abdul Razak Ali Artan.

Law enforcement officials believe Artan was radicalized online by radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the Washington Post reports. 

“It certainly appears that he was radicalized online,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who was briefed by law enforcement officials Wednesday. Shortly before the attack, Artan referred to Awlaki as “our hero” in a post on Facebook, U.S. officials said. Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011. He also expressed disdain for more moderate Islamic clerics, urging people to ignore “celebrity scholars who have sold their deen (religion).”

The FBI interviewed dozens of Artan’s family members, neighbors and co-workers and analyzed electronic devices and social media accounts used by the college junior.

Special Agent in Charge Angela Byers said investigators were “not aware of anyone else being involved in the planning of this attack,” but they were still patching together a timeline of the attack.

On the morning of the attack, Artan purchased a knife, Columbus police said.

FBI Names New Special Agent in Charge of Portland Division

FBI's Portland division.

FBI’s Portland division.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Portland division of the FBI has a new special agent in charge.

FBI Director James Comey appointed Loren Cannon, who has worked for the bureau since 1998.

Cannon will replace Greg Bretzing, who had been at the helm since March 2014.

Cannon began his FBI careering the San Francisco division, where he investigated international terrorism, drug trafficking and violent crime.

Cannon most recently serve as section chief of the Leadership Development Program in the Human Resources Branch at FBI headquarters.

President-Elect Trump’s Transition Team Shifts Focus to Homeland Security

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Following weeks of delays, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has begun shifting its focus to Homeland Security.

Trump met with two prospective Homeland Security leaders this week, the Wall Street Journal reports.  They were Frances Townsend and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

Trump also is considering retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, the former commander of the U.S. Southern Command.

Homeland security was created by then-President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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