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Tag: data

News-Journal: Justice Department Finally Collects More Data on Police Shootings

police lightsBy Editorial Board
Daytona Beach News-Journal

Missing from the national debate on police officer-involved shootings, such as when deadly force is justified and how often race plays a role, is one key component: actual data.

It’s been one of the most confounding revelations since civil unrest over a police shooting erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, in summer 2014: No one knows exactly how many people are shot by law enforcement each year, and what the circumstances are in each instance. The federal government doesn’t have the numbers, and neither do most states — including Florida, a deficiency exposed by the Daytona Beach News-Journal last year in “Shots Fired,” its special investigation of civilians being shot by state and local law-enforcement officers.

Since Ferguson, and since “Shots Fired,” more highly publicized officer-involved shootings around the nation have sparked organized protests to draw attention to the issue. What’s needed in the emotional discussion are some cold, hard facts.

Thankfully, the Justice Department recently announced it would start collecting nationwide data early next year on police shootings and other violent encounters with the public. It’s a long-overdue move to establish what should have been a fundamental responsibility of law enforcement from the outset.

Indeed, the Washington Post got the jump on the government last year by compiling its own national database of police shootings, a gap that FBI Director James Comey said was “embarrassing.”

“We can’t have an informed discussion because we don’t have data,” Comey told the House Judiciary Committee last October.

To read more click here. 

Microsoft Sues Justice Department Over Data Gag Orders

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Microsoft launched a lawsuit against the Justice Department, saying the government should not be able to prevent companies from notifying customers that law enforcement officials have requested their e-mails and data.

The lawsuit argues it’s unconstitutional to prevent companies from informing their customers of the requests, ABC News reports. 

“Microsoft brings this case because its customers have a right to know when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails, and because Microsoft has a right to tell them,” the tech giant says in its lawsuit.

Microsoft said the government often issues orders requiring secrecy.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying, “We are reviewing the filing.”

FBI Director Expressed Frustration Over Federal Government’s Failure to Track Police-Involved Shootings

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey expressed frustration Wednesday’s with the federal government’s failure to better track police-involved shootings, The Washington Post reports. 

Comey told a gathering of about 100 politicians and law enforcement officials that it’s embarrassing and frustrating that the bureau doesn’t have better data on police shootings than databases kept by some media.

“It is unacceptable that The Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper from the U.K. are becoming the lead source of information about violent encounters between police and civilians. That is not good for anybody,” Comey said.

“You can get online today and figure out how many tickets were sold to ‘The Martian,’ which I saw this weekend. ... The CDC can do the same with the flu,” he continued. “It’s ridiculous — it’s embarrassing and ridiculous — that we can’t talk about crime in the same way, especially in the high-stakes incidents when your officers have to use force.”

USA Today Investigation Finds Glaring Omissions in FBI’s Murder Data

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A lot of criticism has surrounded the FBI’s database that is supposed to track all U.S. murders.

Now a USA Today investigation has raised more serious questions about the accuracy of the database after discovering only a 57% accuracy rate for recording the killings of four or more people in a single event in the past decade.

Missing, for example, is the widely publicized Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, which killed 26 teachers, students and administrators. Also missing is Aurora Colo., movie shootings.

The FBI responded that each of the states, which voluntarily submit the information, asked that the incidents be deleted.

According to criminologist James Alan Fox, about 90% of the homicides are included in the data.

Human Rights Groups to Meet With Snowden at Moscow Airport Where He Will Break His Silence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leaker Edward J. Snowden plans to break his silence after spending nearly three weeks in legal limbo at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, The New York Times reports.

Airport officials said Snowden plans to meet with international human rights groups Friday.

The rights workers will be escorted through security and into the transit zone to meet with Snowden, The Times reported.

Snowden reportedly sent an email to several rights organizations asking them to come to the airport.

Snowden revealed widespread phone and email surveillance by the U.S. government.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Focusing on Security Over Ordinary Crime

By CHARLIE SAVAGE
New York Times

WASHINGTON — Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been more likely to be hunting for potential threats to national security than for ordinary criminals in recent years, but much of the time found neither, according to newly disclosed internal information.

Data from a recent two-year period showed that the bureau opened 82,325 assessments of people and groups in search for signs of wrongdoing. Agents closed out most of the assessments, the lowest-level of F.B.I. investigation, without finding information that justified a more intensive inquiry.

Separately, the bureau also initiated 1,819 assessments during the period to identify any possible threats within particular geographic districts. That activity ranged from looking for the presence of particular organizations, like gangs or terrorist groups with definable characteristics, to evaluating other potential vulnerabilities, like a university with classified research and many foreign students.

To read full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Secret Service Looking for Highly Sophisticated Equipment to Intercept Voice Data


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Secret Service wants to upgrade its capabilities to intercept voice and data communications, according to a report by Government Security News.

The publication reported that Secret Service wants to replace its current system “with a new, all-inclusive intercept platform that can collect, analyze, decode and reconstruct voice, data and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) communications.”

Government News Security reported that the agency  is soliciting proposals from vendors. The new system would be used by about 250 Secret Service analysts, monitors and administrators, on a 24/7 basis.

“The system must be able to decode multiple specified common telecommunications application & network protocols,” the agency said, according to the news publication.

It must also be able to  automatically translate intercepted messages in “numerous highly specific foreign languages,” the agency specified.

FBI Agents Collecting Data From New Orleans City Hall

new-orleans-map-istockIf any FBI office is busy with public corruption, it’s New Orleans. The presence of FBI agents at city hall comes as the state’s infamous ex-Rep. William J. Jefferson is on trial in Alexandria, Va., on public corruption charges.

By David Hammer
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — FBI agents have been in New Orleans City Hall since Friday collecting data from computer-network servers and backup tapes, according to a city official familiar with the investigation.

Five federal agents have tied up the work of management information systems employees as they comb through the data stored on the servers. The agents are expected to be in City Hall all week, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous because the investigation has not been made public.

The agents came bearing federal subpoenas seeking information and met with Chief Administrative Officer Brenda Hatfield, the source said.

City spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett on Tuesday evening stopped just short of denying that a federal subpoena had been served at City Hall.

For Full Story

The Latest from the Jefferson Trial (New Orleans Times-Picayune)