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Tag: database

Obama Administration Admits It Improperly Approved 175 Immigrants for Citizenship

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s administration acknowledged this weekend that it approved about 175 immigrants for citizenship without properly running their names through the FBI’s name-check databases.

That means the federal government may have missed red flags to disqualify some of them from naturalization, the Washington Times reports. 

The error was blamed on computer code, affecting about 15,000 applicants.

Because of the error, the government has halted “all naturalization ceremonies already in the pipeline and banned U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers from approving new citizenship applications beginning on Nov. 29, when officials acknowledged the problem in an internal email that was later obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte,” The Times wrote.

Daniel M. Renaud, associate director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told all officers in an internal email “not to approve or oath any naturalization cases in ELIS,” referring to the Electronic Immigration System that serves as the case management system for processing applications.

“At this point we are not confident that proper FBI Name Checks have been run on certain ELIS cases. At this point we are uncertain of the scope of the problem,” he wrote.

FBI to Create a National Database on Use of Force by Law Enforcement

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI tracks records on plenty of crimes, but it has not collected statistics on the number of times police use force when interacting with the public.

That is about to change under a pilot program early next year that will compile statistics and establish the first online database on fatal and nonfatal use-of-force among law enforcement, the Washington Post reports. 

“Accurate and comprehensive data on the use of force by law enforcement is essential to an informed and productive discussion about community-police relations,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a statement Thursday. “The initiatives we are announcing today are vital efforts toward increasing transparency and building trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve.”

But there’s one flaw: The Justice Department is barred from requiring state and local law enforcement to report nonfatal interactions with the public.

The pilot program comes amid high-profile police shootings of black people.

FBI Director James Comey said it’s “unacceptable” and “ridiculous” that there isn’t comprehensive data on law enforcement’s use of force.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Developing Database to Track, Sort People Base on Their Tattoos

TattooBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is working on technology that would allow law enforcement to track and sort people based on their tattoos.

Gizmodo reports the database would help determine “affiliation to gangs, sub-cultures, religious or ritualistic beliefs, or political ideology.”

The system would be based on an algorithms and big datasets.

The technology would “map connections between people with similarly themed tattoos or make inferences about people from their tattoos,” according to a report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Hawaii May Be First State to Enter All Gun Owners into FBI Database

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hawaii is poised to become the first state in the nation to enter gun owners into an FBI database.

The Associated Press reports that the database would immediately notify police when a Hawaiian resident is arrested in another state.

In other states, people who are entered into the “Rap Back” database are in “positions of trust,” such as school officials, said Stephen Fischer of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

“I don’t like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them” said Jerry Ilo, a firearm and hunting instructor for the state. “We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us.”

Supporters of the law say Hawaii would be safer with the database.

FBI Begins to Track Worst Animal Abuse Cases This Year to Improve Enforcement

A victim of a fur farm, via Wikipedia.

A victim of a fur farm, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Beginning this year, the FBI will begin tracking the animal cruelty cases to keep an eye on the worst abuse in the country, WJZ Baltimore reports. 

Animal rights group are applauding the efforts and point out that humans who commit crimes against animals also commit crimes against people.

Many of the goriest animal abuse cases involve dog fighting rings that leave canines for dead.

The FBI expects to track thousands of cases this year alone.

“The hope is by collecting this data, different jurisdictions–law enforcement–will be able to use it as a tool for intervention and prevention,” said Katie Flory, of the Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission.

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.”

FBI’s Sophisticated Database to Catch Serial Killers, Rapists Is Squandered

fbi logo large

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI built a sophisticated database to help catch serial killers and rapists but hardly anyone used it since its launch more than three decades ago, Newsweek reports.

The idea was to help local, state and federal law enforcement discern behavioral patterns, like the type of knife used or how a body was disposed.

Trouble is, law enforcement used the technology, called Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCap, in less than 1% of the violent crimes committed a year.

The FBI hasn’t divulged how many crimes ViCap has helped solve. In a 12-year period ending in the 1990s, only 33 crimes were linked to the use of the system, Newsweek wrote.

The program cost taxpayers about $30 million.

FBI’s Facial Recognition System Catches Criticism from Civil Liberties Advocates

From ivs-biometrics.com

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s plan to soon launch its facial recognition system has worried civil liberties advocates because the bureau won’t say whether it has any limits on its use.

The Huffington Post reports that the FBI plans to soon use 52 million photos in its biometric database, but where those photos came from and the accuracy of the facial recognition searches are unknown.

“There should be congressional oversight of this, and there should be rules,” said Jennifer Lynch, an Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney.
For example, Lynch asked, “How do you get your picture out of the database once it’s in there? And how do you even find out that it’s in there?”

The database, called the Next Generation Identification, is going to be shared with state and local agencies to help in investigations, the FBI said earlier.

The FBI said the database is a critical tool to preventing terrorism.