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Tag: Social Media

ICE Seeks Help from Social Media Companies to Spy on Visa Holders

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration’s increasing battle against illegal immigration may soon include tracking the social media feeds of foreign visitors.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement told software providers that it’s seeking “algorithms that would assess potential threats posed by visa holders in the U.S. and conduct ongoing social media surveillance of those deemed high risk,” ProPublica reports. 

The move appears to be part of Trump’s demands for the “extreme vetting” of visitors from Muslim countries, raising criticism from immigrants and civil liberties advocates.

ICE is searching for “risk-based metrics” to indicate potential dangers posed by visa holders, who could remain under continuous surveillance while in the U.S., according to Louis Rodi, deputy assistant director of ICE Homeland Security Investigations’ National Security Program, who spoke at a recent tech industry conference in Arlington, Va.

“We have millions and millions and millions of people coming every year, and subsequently departing, so we have to be smart about it,” said Rodi to a room of representatives from companies like Microsoft, Accenture, Deloitte and Motorola Solutions. “And I’m sure there are tools out there that can help.”

The program, however, has not begun, stressed ICE spokeswoman Carissa Curttel.

“The request for information on this initiative was simply that—an opportunity to gather information from industry professionals and other government agencies on current technological capabilities to determine the best way forward,” Cutrell wrote in an email.

Hacker Accused of Stalking FBI Agent Back in Jail for Criticizing Bureau

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An alleged hacker accused of online stalking and harassment of an FBI agent is back in jail after criticizing the FBI on a blog post. 

The Texas man, Justin Shafer, had been free of jail after his March arrest on charges of online stalking and harassment of an FBI agent who was investigating a link between him and a notorious hacking group, the TheDarkOverlord

A judge said Shafer violated conditions of his release that included avoiding posts on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, The Dallas Morning News reports

But 12 days after the order, the 37-year-old criticized the FBI agent on his bog post, prompting a federal magistrate to order him held in custody until trial.

Share’s attorney claims the jailing violating his client’s rights to free speech.

“Mr. Shafer has a First Amendment right to criticize his prosecution and rebut the accusations made against him,” said his New York lawyer, Tor Ekeland, in an appeal of that judge’s order.

Other Stories of Interest

Lawmakers Disclose Russia’s Vile Social Media Ads to Help Trump

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russia’s aggressive and surreptitious campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election included troves of misleading and often vicious social media ads targeting Muslims, Black Lives Matter and illegal immigrants.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee released thousands of advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google linked to a Russian group called the Internet Research Agency. The ads, initially turned over by Facebook, reached as many as 126 million users, the Associated Press reports

One ad for an event called, “Support Hillary. Save American Muslims,” included a photo of Donald Trump’s Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Another called for a burqa ban in American, suggesting the Muslim apparel could be used to hide a terrorist.

Another ad by “Army of Jesus” calls Clinton “Satan” and encourages Americans to elect “a president with godly moral principles.” 

rusian-ad-on-facebook

Lawmakers slammed the social media companies for failing to act before the election.

“I don’t think you get it. I think the fact that you’re general counsels, you defend your company,” Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said at the hearing about Russia’s use of social media in the 2016 election, Politico reports. “What we’re talking about is the beginning of cyberwarfare.”

Allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to sabotage Clinton is at the center of a growing special counsel investigation that has already resulted in charges against three campaign aides and includes ongoing inquiries into whether Trump obstructed justice by firing then-FBI Director James Comey for refusing to back down from an investigation into Trump aides.

Former FBI Director Comey Is Using Secret Twitter Account

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey has confirmed he’s been using a secret Twitter account.

Gizmodo speculated that Comey was behind the account of Reinhold Niebuhr, but there was no confirmation until the fired director posted a picture of himself standing in the middle of a road, peering across cornfields.

A friend of Comey’s confirmed the account belonged to the former FBI chief.

Comey, who is writing a book, tweeted on Friday that he was happy to be back in the Hawkeye State.

DOJ Trying to Force Facebook to Reveal Names Associated with Anti-Trump Event

computer-photo1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is trying to force Facebook to disclose the names of everyone who interacted with an event page about an anti-Donald Trump rally during the presidential inauguration.

If the social media giant complies with warrants issued by the DOJ, the federal government would receive the Facebook accounts of everyone who “liked” the disruptj20 page and signed up to attend the protest, Gizmodo reports

The ACLU says the Justice Department’s warrants are a violation of the First and Fourth amendments.

“What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting,” ACLU attorney Scott Michelman told CNN.

Facebook said it plans to fight the warrant.

Facebook Warned U.S. Government of Suspected Russian Hackers Before Election

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Read more »

Facebook Provides Robert Mueller with Facebook Ad Data Involving Russia

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Information about Facebook’s discovery that an operation likely based in Russia spent $100,000 on ads on the social media site was turned over to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in charge of investigating alleged Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election.

Facebook said the operation promoted thousands of ads in the U.S. on divisive social and political messages, Reuters reports.

The postings ranged from polarizing positions on immigration, gay rights and race.

Reuters wrote:

U.S. election law bars foreign nationals and foreign entities from spending money to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate. Non-U.S. citizens may generally advertise on issues. Other ads, such as those that mention a candidate but do not call for the candidate’s election or defeat, fall into what lawyers have called a legal gray area.

Facebook announced the findings in a blog post by its chief security officer, Alex Stamos, and said that it was cooperating with federal inquiries into influence operations during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook briefed members of both the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees on Wednesday about the suspected Russia advertising, according to a congressional source familiar with the matter. Both committees are conducting probes into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, including potential collusion between the campaign of President Donald Trump and Moscow.

FBI: Florida Man Used Twitter to Send Child Pornography to News Anchor

Marchaun Browning

Marchaun Browning

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Florida man was arrested after the FBI said he used multiple Twitter accounts to send child pornography to a local news anchor.

Investigators said Marchaun Browning created new Twitter accounts when the news anchor blocked his tweets containing sexual images of children, ABC Action News reports

Using the IP addresses for each Twitter account, the FBI discovered the tweets originated at Browning’s Gibsonton, Fla. home.

A total of 163 child pornography images were found.

On Aug. 16, a grand jury indicted Browning with three counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

He was arrested Saturday.