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Archive for January 10th, 2018

Fox News: Former DEA Official: Holder Was ‘Very Alarmed’ About Hezbollah Probe’s Findings, But There Was No Follow-Up

Raleigh News & Observer Editorial: ATF Can’t Do Its Job on Guns Due to Lack of Resources

File photo of guns, via ATF

BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Raleigh News & Obsserver

Every time, yes every time there is a catastrophic episode of gun violence, the first rhetorical defense of the National Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates goes something like this: We have plenty of laws about guns. The problem is the government won’t enforce them.

But Kate Irby of the McClatchy Newspapers Washington bureau, in an extensive report, shows that federal officials, primarily because of a shortage of staffing to do inspections in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), are unable to keep up with their own minimum goals to inspect all firearms dealers.

The goal used to be every three years. Now it’s every three to five years. But a 2013 report from the Office of the Inspector General found just 58 percent of firearms dealers were inspected within five years. That’s an astonishing figure. People who deal in deadly weapons aren’t inspected in a timely fashion by federal officials. Automobile inspection rules are more strict.

To read the complete editorial click here.

 

FBI Director Wray Once Again Talks About His Grave Concerns About Encryption

FBI Director Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Back in October, FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia and talked about his grave concern he had about getting access to thousands of cell phones in criminal cases due to encryption and privacy issues.

“In the first 11 months of this fiscal year alone, we were unable to access the content of more than 6,900, that six-thousand-nine-hundred, mobile devices using appropriate and available technical tools even though we had the legal authority to do so,” he told the law enforcement group.

“Each one of those 6,900 mobile devices is tied to a specific subject, a specific defendant, a specific victim, a specific investigation. That’s more than half …..of all the mobile devices that we attempted to access in that time frame. And that’s just the FBI.”

On Tuesday, he once again emphasized his concern at New York at Fordham University’s International Conference on Cyber Security, according to a report in the Washington Post by Ellen Nakashima.

“Being unable to access nearly 7,800 devices in a single year is a major public safety issue,” he said, echoing concerns of  his predecessor, James B. Comey.

“We’re not interested in the millions of devices of everyday citizens,” he said. “We’re interested in those devices that have been used to plan or execute terrorist or criminal activities.”

GPS Fusion Founder Glenn Simpson: FBI Had Source Inside Trump Organization

Glenn Simpson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Chatter surrounding the Trump-Russia probe escalated  Tuesday when a massive transcript was released of Congressional testimony in August from Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS and author of the infamous dossier.

In his testimony, Simpson says the FBI had a source within the Trump organization who verified some of his allegations in the dossier, reports Slate.

The key portion from the testimony comes on pages 174 and 175. Simpson testified that Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier that has become a principal target of Trump’s defenders, met with the FBI in September, 2016. According to Simpson, during that meeting the FBI told Steele that they had a human source inside the Trump organization, which was why they were investigating the claims in his own report and taking them seriously, Slate wrote.