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Archive for December 6th, 2019

Spokane Man Charged with Threatening to Kill FBI Agents, Federal Judges

Scott Joseph Franklin

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Spokane man is accused of threatening FBI agents, a federal courthouse and federal judges in letters he wrote while in jail for threatening to blow up another courthouse.

Scott Joseph Franklin pleaded not guilty Wednesday to sending threatening letters to the U.S. District Court in Washington state. The letters were written in jail, where he has been lodged since he was convicted in 2013 of threatening to bomb a courthouse.

In the latest case, a U.S. District Court clerk said she received the handwritten letters in October, and they listed Franklin as the sender, according to federal court records obtained by KXLY. He also signed one of the letters, “cordially; Scott J. Franklin.”

“When I get out, I’m killing every agent of FBI and ever [sic] Federal Judge within your federal courthouse in Downtown Spokane,” he wrote.

Franklin’s letter’s described his plans to build a bomb “so powerful to blow a 2 block radiant [sic].”

In one letter, he states, “You can’t charge me with mailing threatening communications under Title 18 U.S.C. because that letter is a promise I swear to god and this is no joke, for real.”

In a jailhouse interview with federal agents, Franklin admitted he wrote the letters, saying, “I was gonna do exactly what I said… I was going to try to figure out how to make a bomb and blow up the [expletive] building.”

Franklin has been charged with a federal count of mailing threatening communications.

Amid Fierce Criticism, Homeland Security Abandons Plans to Photograph American Travelers at Airports

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Facing a firestorm of criticism, Homeland Security is abandoning plans to expand the federal government’s facial recognition system by requiring all travelers, including Americans, to be photographed if they are leaving or entering the country.

Homeland Security was expected to propose the regulation change in July, igniting privacy concerns and trepidation about the accuracy of facial recognition technology.

Homeland Security officials responded by saying it no longer plans to move forward with the plan.

“There are no current plans to require U.S. citizens to provide photographs upon entry and exit from the United States. CBP intends to have the planned regulatory action regarding U.S. citizens removed from the unified agenda next time it is published,” the agency said in a news release.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who was among the toughest critics, had pledged to introduce legislation to stop the proposal.

Facial recognition technology has come under intense criticism from local, state and federal lawmakers because of its lack of accuracy, especially when applied to people of color.