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Archive for December 28th, 2016

FBI Investigates Several Years of China-Linked Hacks of FDIC

computer spies2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating what appears to be Chinese military-sponsored hacks of computers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation since 2010, sources told Reuters. 

During the security breach, hackers infiltrated dozens of computers belonging to the FDIC, one of the largest federal agencies that regulates commercial banks in the U.S.

Congressional staff reviewed the internal communications between senior FDIC officials.

It’s unclear how long the FBI has been investigating, but the probe is active.

The FDIC declined to comment on the investigation, but said “immediate steps” were taken to find the hackers.

Journalist, Researcher Sue U.S. Spy Agencies for Records about Russian Hacking

foiaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An investigative reporter and a researcher at Harvard have filed a open records lawsuit this week against the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence for information about Russia interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

The suit was filed by investigative reporter Jason Leopold and Ryan Shapiro, a PhD candidate at MIT and researcher at Harvard, after the government agencies failed to provide records, Recode reports

The FOIA seeks information between Congress and the federal intelligence agencies and between the FBI and White House.

The CIA has expressed confidence that Russia interfered in the election in the months leading up to the November contest.

Recode reports:

The plaintiffs seek information about any ongoing investigation into ties between Donald Trump or anyone associated with his campaign and interference from the Russian government in the election. Leopold and Shapiro also asked for communications between Congress and the Republican and Democratic campaign committees, as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign in reference to Russian involvement with the 2016 presidential race.

Ex-Officer: Secret Service’s Internal Problems Is Its Greatest Challenge

secret serviceBy Former Secret Service Officer Gary Byrne
Washington Examiner

On Inauguration Day, the extensive premises of Washington, D.C., will be secured and re-secured. Hordes of protesters and professional activists will descend on the capital. Terrorists, wannabes inspired by the Islamic State, madmen and cop-haters will literally set their sights. But the Secret Service will stand ready to protect President Obama, President-elect Trump and both of their families from harm.

There will be constant foot, bike and vehicle patrols. There will be metal detection, K-9 bomb sniffing, X-ray and coordination between the military and at least fifty agencies from across the nation. There will be counter-sniper, counter-recon, counter-assault, SWAT, communications monitoring, radiological and explosive ordnance detection. Every single manhole and window will be screened and patrolled.

As some would have you believe, the only thing impairing the Secret Service are the unparalleled challenges presented by Trump. It’s true that his children, grandchildren and many residences create significant challenges. Still, every new president brings unique tests. The agency will always adapt. But it’s at a crossroads for another reason.

The Secret Service’s greatest challenge is not external. It doesn’t come from assassination threats and social unrest. It’s internal, and unless addressed soon, it will become a true danger to Trump, his family, the government and the American people.

The Secret Service that I served, and still love, has two major problems: A systemic ethics problem that makes the protection of its own image a priority, and the employment of far too many administrators and not enough doers.

The 151-year-old institution has been disgraced by scandals involving drones, prostitutes and drunken agents (one of whom, the second-in-charge of Obama’s personal detail, plowed his government car into a barrier at the White House after a late-night rager).

To read more click here.

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Killed Mexican Teen Has Constitutional Protections

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether a Mexican teenager is permitted to sue the Border Patrol agent who shot him.

“This raises fundamental questions about the reach of protection under the Constitution,” Deepak Gupta, a lawyer working on behalf of the teenager’s family,”  told the Dallas Morning News.  “It’s hard to understate how fundamental it is.”

In the summer of 2010, Sergio Hernandez, then 15, was allegedly throwing rocks at Border Patrol officers along the border between El Paso and Juarez.

Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. fired at Hernandez, killing him.

The central question in the court case: Does a Mexican have constitutional protections against the use of deadly force by federal officers – a protection afforded to Americans?

A Border Patrol lawyer says Hernandez does not have constitutional protections.

“To say he did would create a very litigious border,” Ortega said. “We’d be, in effect, expanding the jurisdiction of the Constitution of the United States into sovereign areas.”

Trump Taps Thomas Bossert as Top Adviser on Homeland Security Issues

Tim Bossert

Tim Bossert

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday chose his top adviser on homeland security issues.

Thomas Bossert, an aide to former President George W. Bush, was appointed assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, Newsday reports. 

Bossier will work with the incoming national security adviser, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

“We must work toward cyber doctrine that reflects the wisdom of free markets, private competition and the important but limited role of government in establishing and enforcing the rule of law,” Bossert said in a statement distributed by the transition. He also said the internet should reflect U.S. values as a “U.S. invention.”

Bossier served as deputy homeland security adviser under Bush and later ran a security consulting business.

Trump called Bossert an “invaluable asset.”

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