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Tag: Justice Department

Supreme Court to Decide Whether to Help FBI Hack into More Computers

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule in favor of a Justice Department request that would allow judges to issue search warrants so that law enforcement agencies have the access to computers in any jurisdiction.

Currently, magistrate judges are limited to ordering searches within the jurisdiction of their court, Reuters reports. 

The change would help federal agencies like the FBI hack into more computer networks, a concern of some tech companies and the ACLU

If a judge approves the change, both chambers of Congress would have to approve it.

Justice Department Wants Sheriff Gusman to Stop Operating Troubled Jail

Orleans Parish Jail.

Orleans Parish Jail.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to remove New Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s authority to operate the jail after failing to comply with a 2013 consent decree, the Times-Picayune reports. 

The group of inmates who sued over the jail’s condition also is asking a judge to remove Gusman’s authority to run the jail.

Saying violence is still widespread and underreported in the jail, attorneys for the Justice Department and the plaintiff want the court to hand control over to another, unspecified entity.

“Urgent and extraordinary action is required of this Court to address the immediate risk of harm and death to the men, women and youth in the Jail,” the motion says.

Gusmam is not behind the plan and said he plans to “aggressively defend” the progress he has made.

“We recognize there is more work to be done but will not allow this move by the Plaintiffs to undermine the accomplishments and sacrifices of the hard working deputies and staff at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office,” the statement says. 

Justice Department Allows CIA Torture Lawsuit to Proceed in Stunning Reversal

torture1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a stunning reversal, the Justice Department is allowing a lawsuit by alleged victim of the CIA’s torture program to proceed, the New York Magazine reports. 

The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of three former CIA prisoners. The suit alleges human right violations by two psychologists and former Air Force trainers whose company received a contract to help the CIA run the program.

The Justice Department previously blocked similar cases by invoking the state-secrets privilege.

The ACLU may have been given a hand by the Senate’s investigation of the torture program, which was released in December. The probe found that torture produced very little useful intelligence.

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.”

Justice Department’s Highest-Ranking Openly Gay Leader to Step Down

Stuart Delery

Stuart Delery

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s highest-ranking openly gay leader is stepping down to explore jobs in the private sector.

The department’s No. 3 official, Stuard Delery, has served as acting associate attorney general after rising the ranks since starting with the DOJ in 2009, NPR reports. 

Delery was a top counterterrorism expert and also agreed cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.

“It’s been a complete privilege to work here at the Department of Justice,” Delery, 47, told NPR in an interview Tuesday morning. “It’s been a real honor to be part of it, and I feel really lucky as a lawyer to have had the chance to do it.”

Delray also investigated financial scams, voting rights and tainted food and medicine.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch called Delery “an indispensible source of wisdom, leadership and inspiration.”

“We can all take pride in the many ways he has helped to make this country more fair, more equal, and more just,” Lynch said.

Bill Baer, who leads the department’s antitrust division, is expected to replace Delery.

Justice Department Reviewing ‘Panama Papers’ to Determine if U.S. Laws Were Violated

department-of-justice-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is investigating the so-called Panama Papers to determine if global politicians and public figures broke the law.

“The U.S. Department of Justice takes very seriously all credible allegations of high level, foreign corruption that might have a link to the United States or the U.S. financial system,” Peter Carr, spokesman for the Justice Department’s criminal division, told Reuters.

The 11.5 million leaked files came from a Panama law firm, which specializes in creating offshore bank accounts.

The “Panama Papers” were published by numerous news organizations, revealing financial arrangements involving tens of thousands of rich and powerful people.

“In spite of some of the lack of transparency that exists in many of these transactions, there are determined experts, at both the Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice who can examine these transactions,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Buffalo News: Congress Must Act to Resolve Issues Between Apple, FBI

congress copyBy Edtorial Board
Buffalo News

One could say that the Justice Department’s finding a way to unlock an iPhone without help from Apple is unfortunate.

To some, it could further delay serious discussion about privacy rights in this age of fast-evolving technology.

Congress needs to face up to its obligation to have this debate and to come to some reasonable conclusion. It needs to balance privacy rights with the increasingly challenging task of keeping the country safe from those who would commit mass murder.

This is a long-standing and continually developing issue, and one that Congress has largely ignored, as technology changes and becomes a tool of terrorists. Fundamentally, the law has not kept pace with science. But the need for a response is plain, even if the answers are difficult.

More and more Americans keep personal information, sometimes sensitive information, on their smartphones. Constitutionally, they have a right to privacy.

Yet the ability to monitor terrorists, who value body counts above all else, is also tied to technology, as is the investigation of crimes such as the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre that prompted this confrontation.

Both sides have compelling cases, which is a prescription for court action. It would be better for Congress to debate and resolve these questions.

Privacy advocates say they will keep the issue at the forefront, but the Justice Department has withdrawn its legal effort to compel Apple to unlock an iPhone and, in so doing, assist in an investigation of a mass shooting.

The phone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers, Syed Rizwan Farook, may contain information about where he and his wife, an accomplice in that horrific attack in which 14 people died, may have traveled, who they contacted or any further plots.

Group to Justice Department: Donald Trump Bribed Ben Carson for Endorsement

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Did Donald Trump illegally promise Ben Carson a position in his administration in exchange for endorsing the GOP frontrunner?

A group tied to Hillary Clinton supporters filed a complaint with the Justice Department that alleges Trump bribed Carson for the endorsement, the Hill reports. 

“It has recently come to light that Mr. Donald Trump may have willfully offered Dr. Ben Carson an appointment to his administration should he become president in return for supporting his candidacy,” wrote Brad Woodhouse, head of the American Democracy Legal Fund.

“ADLF respectfully requests that you investigate this matter and take all appropriate action as soon as possible,” Woodhouse wrote.

Carson told Newsmax earlier this month that he would serve in an “advisory capacity” for the Trump administration, if Trump is elected.

“Again, I’m not going to reveal any details about it right now because all of this is still very liquid,” Carson said.

Woodhouse wrote that “Dr. Carson’s comments strongly suggest that Mr. Trump promised him an administration position in return for his endorsement.”