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Tag: tracking

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.

Local Police Help FBI Keep Tabs on Growing Number of Terrorism Suspects

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is struggling to keep track of what appears to be a growing network of ISIS supporters who blend in until the time comes to attack.

CNN reports that then NYPD and other local law enforcement agencies are pitching in to search for and investigate ISIS supporters.

The most recent failure came when a known ISSI supporter who was under investigation by the FBI attacked a Prophet Mohammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.

FBI Director James Comey said the FBI keeps its eye on hundreds of suspects.

Some NYPD officers who have already been trained in surveillance will help keep track of suspects.

The goal is to add 450 officers to the department’s counterterrorism unit, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said. LAPD also is following suit.

“It’s an extraordinarily difficult challenge task to find — that’s the first challenge — and then assess those who may be on a journey from talking to doing and to find and assess in an environment where increasingly, as the attorney general said, their communications are unavailable to us even with court orders,” Comey said.

Longtime Border Patrol Agent Known for His Skill at ‘the Game’ Dies

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

During the three decades that he spent with Border Patrol, Ab Taylor became somewhat of a legend.

The plain-spoken Texan was known for his incredible man-tracking ability.

On Sept. 9, Taylor died at the age 88, The Washington Post reports. The cause was Alzheimer’s disease.

Taylor made a name for himself by developing an expertise for spotting evidence to hunt down people –  a pattern of dust, out-of-place rocks, a broken twig.

He referred to the daily hunt as “the Game.”

At one point, Taylor expressed compassion for the people he was hunting down.

“I can have the greatest empathy for the individual Mexican coming in and understand him and know about him,” Mr. Taylor told the Los Angeles Times in 1972. “Still, I don’t have reservations about doing my job because I know that this country cannot possibly absorb all the poverty of Mexico.”

 

Feds to Make Case for Tracking Cell Phone Locations without a Warrant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities will make their case before federal judges that warrantless tracking of cell phone locations is legal, CNET reports.

Federal prosecutors don’t want to ask a judge to approve a warrant before obtaining stored records that reveal the constant movements of mobile phone users over a two-month period, according to CNET.

Location data are useful for police because people almost always carry their cell phones with them, CNET reports.

But many think the warrantless tracking is a violation of privacy rights and should only done with approval from a judge.

Method to Track Firearms Stalled by Foes

By ERICA GOODE
New York Times

Identifying the firearm used in a crime is one of the biggest challenges for criminal investigators. But what if a shell casing picked up at a murder scene could immediately be tracked to the gun that fired it?

A technique that uses laser technology and stamps a numeric code on shell casings can do just that. But the technology, called microstamping, has been swept up in the larger national debate over gun laws and Second Amendment rights, and efforts to require gun makers to use it have stalled across the nation.

“I think it is one of these things in law enforcement that would just take us from the Stone Age to the jet age in an instant,” said Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld III of the Baltimore Police Department. “I just can’t comprehend the opposition to it.”

To read the full story click here.

Supreme Court Rules Police Must Have Search Warrant Before Using GPS Device

By Robert Barnes
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police must obtain a search warrant before using a GPS device to track criminal suspects. But the justices left for another day larger questions about how technology has altered a person’s expectation of privacy.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the government needed a valid warrant before attaching a GPS device to the Jeep used by D.C. drug kingpin Antoine Jones, who was convicted in part because police tracked his movements on public roads for 28 days.

“We hold that the government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a ‘search’ ” under the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, Scalia wrote.

To read the full story click here.

Read opinion United States v. Jones.

Artist Offers Whole Life’s Details to FBI, Public

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

When Hasan M. Elahi landed in Detroit, Mich., and walked into the country on June 19, 2002, a customs official asked that Elahi follow him to an Immigration and Naturalization Services office at the airport.

That incident initiated a period of “questioning went on for the next six months and ended with a series of polygraph examinations,” Elahi wrote in the New York Times on Sunday, and it “turned my life upside down,” he said.

Elahi, an associate professor and interdisciplinary artist at the University of Maryland,  describes himself as neurotic about record keeping, and in the office at the airport he and the investigator were able to look at his electronic personal assistant and retrace the steps he took on September 12, 2001, he wrote in the Times. Seeming pleased, the interrogator let Elahi go. But Elahi was soon contacted by federal authorities for more questioning.

The level of detailed information he began sharing with the FBI in the months following inspired a project Elahi pursued on his own websites. Elahi was nervous about the FBI’s interest in him and wanted to cooperate in letting them know all of his travel plans and whereabouts. When an interrogator finally cleared him and said for Elahi to let them know if he needed anything, Elahi-not wanting another hassle upon his return-sent agents his plans for traveling outside of the country in the near future, he wrote.

But Elahi piled the information high. “Soon I began to e-mail the F.B.I. I started to send longer e-mails, with pictures, and then with links to Web sites I made. I wrote some clunky code for my phone back in 2003 and turned it into a tracking device … I created a list of every flight I’ve ever been on, since birth. For the more recent flights, I noted the exact flight numbers, recorded in my frequent flier accounts, and also photographs of the meals that I ate on each flight, as well as photos of each knife provided by each airline on each flight.”

On his own websites, which he sent links to federal agents to, he included databases of his personal financial records, his daily habits and whereabouts, pictures he had taken.

Elahi wrote in the Times: “In an era in which everything is archived and tracked, the best way to maintain privacy may be to give it up. Information agencies operate in an industry that values data. Restricted access to information is what makes it valuable. If I cut out the middleman and flood the market with my information, the intelligence the F.B.I. has on me will be of no value.”

Elahi went further. The actions may be more symbolic than anything, he admitted, “but if 300 million people started sending private information to federal agents, the government would need to hire as many as another 300 million people, possibly more, to keep up with the information and we’d have to redesign our entire intelligence system.” He derided the current intelligence system as stuck in a Cold War mentality, and encouraged the many “incredibly intelligent people and very sophisticated computer systems in various agencies in Washington” to move beyond a 20th century mentality and start creating better ways to use and analyze information, rather than endlessly collect it.

Whether the project seems a poignant response to his experience, or just the overly academic philosophizing of an abstract University artist, questions about responding to and dealing with the flood of information federal agents face is something to be pondered. “What I’m doing is no longer just an art project; creating our own archives has become so commonplace that we’re all — or at least hundreds of millions of us — doing it all the time. Whether we know it or not,” Elahi wrote.

 

FBI Had Problems Tracking Suspected Terrorist in Texas

In the wake of the arrests of some suspected terrorists, we’re now learning of the difficulties the FBI had tracking  them. In New York, the counterterrorism task force apparently lost suspect Najibullah Zazi on the NY subway for a brief time. And now we see here the difficulties the FBI had tracking Hosam “Sam” Smadi.

dallas-map1

By MELODY McDONALD
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
FT. WORTH, Tex. — The FBI had Hosam “Sam” Smadi under surveillance in the months before the Jordanian national was accused of trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper, according to newly released court documents.

But tracking him wasn’ t without its problems, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Agents twice placed a tracking device on Smadi s 1991 Honda Accord. Because of the car s age and condition, the device fell off each time, the affidavit states. On the third try, agents secured the tracker with a different attachment in hopes that it would hold.

Because the tracker was unreliable, agents went to a judge in September and got permission to track Smadi s cellphone, which was in the name of Kellye Kines.

For Full Story