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Tag: informants

FBI Pays Best Buy Technicians to ‘Ferret Out Child Porn” on Computers

Best Buy, via Wikipedia

Best Buy, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Technicians for Best Buy’s “Geek Squad City” are being paid by the FBI as part of “a joint venture to ferret out child porn,” according to claims in new federal documents.

The allegations were leveled by lawyers for a California doctor who was charged with possessing child pornography after Best Buy technicians said they found unlawful images on his computer, the Washington Post reports

It has been known that Best Buy’s computer repair facility had a relationship with the FBI, but the new allegations suggest the ties are much deeper the previously believed.

The Post wrote:

While there is no question that Geek Squad technicians have notified authorities after finding child porn, the new court documents assert that there is a deeper relationship than has previously been revealed between the company and federal authorities. The court is now considering the extent of that relationship and whether it is grounds to throw out a pending child porn case, though it could also have ramifications for the dozens of cases which originate from the Kentucky facility annually.

Defense lawyers for the doctor argue that Geek Squad City’s technicians acted as government agents by receiving payments from the FBI, regularly speaking with and referring cases to the FBI, and creating a program to search for child porn. If a government agent wants to search a computer, they need a warrant, and the case has raised issues of privacy invasion and violation of constitutional search and seizure rights.

FBI Believed Science Fiction Writer Ray Bradbury Was a Pinko Boogeyman

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was convinced during the Cold War that some science fiction writers were bent on crippling America and creating communist sympathizers by frightening readers with futuristic stories.

MuckRock received FBI files that show the bureau was obsessed with science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury, who was accused of being a member of the Communist Party.

“The general aim of these science fiction writers is to frighten the people into a state of paralysis or psychological incompetence bordering on hysteria,” the FBI wrote.

Bradbury was pursued by informants during readings and other gatherings.

To read the full report, click here. 

FBI Accused of Using No-Fly List to Coerce Muslims into Becoming Informants

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is accused of removing people from the no-fly list in exchange for becoming informants.

Al Jazeera America reports that four law-abiding Muslim men were removed from the no-fly list just days before a federal district court in New York hears their case.

According to their lawsuit, Tanvir v. Lynch, the no-fly list is used to coerce Muslims to become informants.

“The fact that the government has confirmed that all four of our clients now can fly really affirms our claims in this lawsuit that the only reason they were ever on a no-fly list is … they were refusing to be informants. There was never any valid reason for their placement,” said Diala Shamas, a senior staff attorney at CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility) at the City University of New York School of Law, which brought the lawsuit along with the Center for Constitutional Rights and Debevoise & Plimpton.

The lawsuit alleges Muhammed Tanvir, of New York City, was barred from flying after he refused to become an informant. Then agents offered to remove him if he helped provide information.

“Had Mr. Tanvir actually presented a threat to aviation safety, [FBI agent Sanya] Garcia would not and could not have offered to remove Mr. Tanvir from the list merely in exchange for his willingness to become an informant,” the suit states.

 

FBI Trained Alaskan Residents to Become Informants to FBI in Event of Invasion

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fearing the Soviet Union was planning to attack Alaska in the 1950s, the FBI trained Alaskan residents so become informant behind enemy lines, according to declassified documents, reports RT.com.

The initiative did not include women or native people, like the Native Americans.

At the time, the FBI feared that the Soviet would invade by plane and or drop paratroopers on more populated areas in Alaska.

The initiative to train citizens to provide intelligence was a highly classified project, code-named “Washtub.”

The FBI didn’t trust the native population .

“Eskimo, Indian and Aleut groups in the Territory should be avoided in view of their propensities to drink to excess and their fundamental indifference to constituted governments and political philosophies. It is pointed out that their prime concern is with survival and their allegiance would easily shift to any power in control,” insisted the founders of the program.

 

FBI Allowed Nearly 6,000 Crimes to Be Committed in 2012 – Up from Previous Year


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI allowed its informants to break the law , all in the name of fighting crime.

According to the Final Call the FBI permitted nearly 6,000 violations of the law by informants.

That’s a 5% hike over the previous year.

The law violations range from acts of violence to using drugs and bribing politicians.

“It sounds like a lot, but you have to keep it in context,” former top FBI official Shawn Henry told USA Today in August. “This is not done in a vacuum. It’s not done randomly. It’s not taken lightly.”

USA Today Exclusive: FBI Allowed Informants to Commit 5,600 Crimes

By Brad Heath
USA Today

WASHINGTON — The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation’s top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime.

The U.S. Justice Department ordered the FBI to begin tracking crimes by its informants more than a decade ago, after the agency admitted that its agents had allowed Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to operate a brutal crime ring in exchange for information about the Mafia. The FBI submits that tally to top Justice Department officials each year, but has never before made it public.

Agents authorized 15 crimes a day, on average, including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies. FBI officials have said in the past that permitting their informants — who are often criminals themselves — to break the law is an indispensable, if sometimes distasteful, part of investigating criminal organizations.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Paid Informants $500,000, Ignored Crimes in Weak Racketeering Case, Defense Lawyer Argued

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI spent more than $500,000 on informants and ignored their crimes to build a racketeering case that has “been on life support” for years, a veteran mob attorney said Monday, the Associated Press reports.

During closing arguments for the trial involving La Cosa Nostra under reputed boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, defense attorney Edwin Jacobs Jr. said the FBI’s case is shoddy.

“Things changed in 1999. They just don’t want to admit it. This indictment … has no guns, no knives, no explosives, no beatings, no killings,” Jacobs said, the AP reported. “You got nothing but some gambling talk and a couple of angry conversations.”

Deliberations are expected to begin today.

Prosecutors accuse Ligambi of operating an illegal enterprise centered on loansharking, sports betting and illegal video poker machines, the AP wrote. Anyone who didn’t pay up were threatened to be chopped up.

“The defense wants you to believe everyone in South Philadelphia talks like that every day of the week. That’s an insult to your intelligence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Han told jurors Monday.

Closing arguments concluded three months of testimony.

Feds Aren’t Tracking Data on Frequency of Informants Breaking Law for Government

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF and the DEA don’t track how often informants are given authority to commit a crime, the USA Today reports.

While the Justice Department imposes stringent limits on when and how informants for various federal agencies are allowed to break the law on the government’s behalf, an open-records request reveals that neither the ATF nor the DEA stockpile information on such cases, according to USA Today.

The issue came to light in the midst of the bungled “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking operation that allowed 2,000 weapons to reach the hands of suspected cartels.

“The way we use confidential informants is a huge aspect of the daily operation and also the legitimacy of the criminal justice system,” said Alexandra Natapoff, a professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles. “It’s insane that even the law enforcement agencies that actually carry out this policy may not always know how their operatives are doing it.”