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Archive for December 21st, 2016

FBI Investigates Brutal Beating of Native American in Tennessee

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the brutal beating of a Native American man in Tennessee to determine whether a hate crime was committed.

Three people were arrested in the beating of 60-year-old James Russell, of Bradley County.

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office believes the beating was a case of mistaken identity, but the FBI wants to further investigate, WRCB reports. 

Deputies said three strangers followed Russell to a state park and beat him, causing serious injuries.

Russell described the attack as a hate crime.

“He grabbed my ponytail, pulled my head back until I was looking into his eyes and said I think I’ll scalp you… I always wanted to scalp an Indian. At that point I did not think I was going to make it through the night,” said Russell. 

Other Stories of Interest

 

Records: FBI Had No Evidence of Wrongdoing Against Clinton in Computer Search

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI had no evidence of wrongdoing when the bureau asked a judge for a warrant to search a computer that contained correspondence between Hillary Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin.

The newly released documents shed more light on the FBI’s revelation that it was resuming the Clinton investigation less than two weeks before the election, the Washington Post reports. 

The search warrant was for a computer that belonged to former congressman Anthony Weiner, who is Abedin’s estranged husband.

“The affidavit concedes that the FBI had no basis to conclude whether these e-mails were even pertinent to that closed investigation, were significant, or whether they had, in fact, already been reviewed prior to the closing of the investigation,” said David E. Kendall, Clinton’s lawyer. “What does become unassailably clear, however, is that as the sole basis for this warrant, the FBI put forward the same evidence the Bureau concluded in July was not sufficient to bring a case — the affidavit offered no additional evidence to support any different conclusion.”

The Washington Post wrote:

Looking at just the header information of emails, agents found on Weiner’s device thousands of Abedin emails, including what seemed to be “regular” correspondence with Clinton and some messages that appeared to have been sent while Clinton was secretary of state. Based on that — and because Clinton and Abedin were previously on email chains in which classified information was discussed — they argued to a judge there was probable cause for their search. They had not at the time reviewed the content of any Abedin emails, according to the documents unsealed Tuesday.

FBI’s New Surveillance Powers Raise Questions about Civil Liberties

Data securityBy Editorial Board
Orange County Register

The FBI quietly acquired sweeping surveillance powers, beginning Dec. 1, it had sought for years, and the change came without a single congressional hearing or vote.

Under a change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the FBI will now be able to obtain a single warrant from a magistrate that allows it to hack thousands – or perhaps millions – of computers across the country, or even outside it, in certain circumstances.

It would apply when technology like Tor or VPNs (virtual private networks) are used to hide the location of users, or when a computer is swept up in a “botnet,” a network of private computers infected by malware and controlled without the users’ knowledge, such as by an email spammer. “In these circumstances, law enforcement could remotely access, search, seize or copy data on computers, no matter where the computers were located and without providing notice to the users being searched,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation cautioned.

Previously, magistrates could only issue warrants for searches within their districts. Thus, the rule change raises fears about “forum shopping,” under which the FBI could seek warrants from magistrates known to hand out warrants with little scrutiny, even if no devices to be searched reside in their districts. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who led a bipartisan group of senators attempting to block the rule change the day before it went into effect, but was rebuffed by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called it “one of the biggest mistakes in surveillance policy in years and years.” Wyden contended that government hacking attempts could inadvertently damage personal computers and cellphones, hospital systems or even the power grid. “(I)nnocent Americans could be victimized twice – once by their hackers and a second time by their government,” he said on the floor of the Senate. “This rule change will give the government unprecedented authority to hack into Americans’ personal phones, computers and other devices.” Wyden was joined on the floor by Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana. “This proposed solution essentially gives the government a blank check to infringe upon our civil liberties,” Daines asserted. “Our civil liberties and our Fourth Amendment can be chipped away little by little until we barely recognize them anymore. We simply can’t give unlimited power for unlimited hacking which puts Americans’ civil liberties at risk.”

The rule change also illustrates an astonishing lack of oversight.

To read more click here.

FBI Agent Accused of Shooting at Police Was Investigating Fraud in Michigan

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI special agent who was arrested for allegedly shooting at a Grand Rapids police officer was in Michigan investigating telemarketing fraud, WZZM 13 reports. 

Ruben Hernandez, 35, was arrested on Dec. 6 and charged with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Police were called to a gym after Hernandez began acting erratically. He’s accused of firing at a responding officer.

While in custody, Hernandez apologized.

“Ma’am, I have a telemarketing fraud case,” he informed an officer.

“It is a mass marketing fraud case. I’m so sorry. I can’t even think straight. 4965903, that’s the FBI file number. Ma’am, I’m so sorry.”

Hernandez works out of the FBI’s Las Vegas office.

CNN Political Commentator Says She Was Subjected to ‘Vaginal Pat Down’ at Detroit Airport

Detroit Metro Airport, via Wikipedia

Detroit Metro Airport, via Wikipedia

CNN political commentator Angela Rye said she was subjected to an invasive “vaginal pat down” at Detroit Metro Airport.

Rye, who wrote about the experience in an op-ed on CNN’s website, said she was told she was randomly chosen for additional screening, despite having a TSA Precheck status and is a CLEAR traveler. 

After being told that a female TSA agent would do “a backhanded pat around the upper thigh,” the search went beyond that, she wrote:

The pat-down began and was uneventful until she went down my leg, up my dress, and her hand sideways hits me right in the crack of my labia. Startled, I jump and feel a lump in my throat trying to hold back tears. What happened to the back handed pat-down?

She comes around to the front; I grow nervous and pull back a bit, afraid of the same thing happening ― and her sideways hand hits in the middle of my genitals again. I can no longer hold back the tears. 

Rye said she was told she would be escorted from the airport if she didn’t agree to the pat-down.

“Of course, we want America to be safe and protected,” Rye wrote. “But we should not violate the emotional and physical safety of our nation’s citizens at the same time.”