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Archive for December 30th, 2016

Weekend Series on Crime History: 5 Most Dangerous Hackers of All Time

FBI Report Squarely Blames Russia for Meddling in 2016 Presidential Election

Russian Embassy in Washington D.C.

Russian Embassy in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI issued its first statement on the cyberattacks targeting the 2016 presidential election, blaming Russian intelligence services for launching a broad hacking campaign.

In a 13-page report co-authored by Homeland Security, the FBI concluded that Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, the FSB, sent a malicious link to U.S. government targets, Reuters reports. 

Russia continues to deny the hacking claims.

The FBI’s report came on the same day President Obama imposed retaliatory measures, including the expulsion of 35 Russian intelligence operatives.

The FBI said the Democratic National Committee was among the targets. The DNC also was infiltrated by another Russian agency, the military GRU, in early 2016.

Even some Republicans criticized Russia’s meddling in the election. 

Virginian-Pilot: DEA Has Bad Relationship with Facts, Science on Drug Risks

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Editorial Board
Virginian-Pilot

Leaders of America’s Drug Enforcement Administration have long demonstrated a shockingly casual relationship with facts and science on drug risks.

The idea that marijuana — completely legal in several states and available for medical use in most — should be listed on the same Schedule 1 with heroin, bath salts and Ecstasy is the kind of laughable conclusion only a zealot could justify.

The DEA is supposed to be a dispassionate law enforcement agency, doing its best to keep America safe. But when it wastes time, energy and money on the indefensible, it undermines the agency’s very legitimacy.

Take cannabidiol, commonly called CBD.

Earlier this month, the DEA classified CBD, along with other marijuana derivatives, as Schedule 1 drugs, which means they have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

Except that’s simply not true. CBD — which doesn’t impart the high of THC — has well-established medical uses.

According to a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, “CBD acts in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-oxidant, anti-emetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and is therefore a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia, respectively.”

Trump’s choice for Homeland Security Adviser Could Impact Travelers Using TSA’s PreCheck

airport lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’ choice for homeland security adviser could impact travelers who use the TSA’s PreCheck process.

Thomas P. Bossert, a former aide to former President George W. Bush, has expressed skepticism about the PreCheck process, saying more stringent background checks and longer wait times may be necessary, the Palm Beach Daily News reports. 

“Tom brings enormous depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to protecting the homeland to our senior White House team,” Trump said in a news release. “He has a handle on the complexity of homeland security, counter terrorism, and cyber security challenges. He will be an invaluable asset to our administration.”

In op-eds, Bossert said the TSA “is not an intelligence agency. It is historically a consumer of intelligence gathered and analyzed by others.”

More people are using PreCheck to alleviate long waits at airports, with more than 4 million people signed up.

However, some observers have criticized the system as lax and may have holes in the background checks process.

“There is no screening algorithm and no database check that can accurately predict human behavior — especially on the scale of millions,” former TSA administrator Kip Hawley said last week in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times.

Other Stories of Interest

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