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November 2015
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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Twitter

Oregon’s Justice Department Spied on Black Lives Matter Protesters


By Steve Neavling

Oregon’s Justice Department spied on Black Lives Matter supporters to determine whether they presented a threat, the Huffington Post reports.

The digital surveillance included reviewing people who used the movement’s hashtag, BlackLivesMatter.

“When I initially heard about this incident I was appalled,” state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a letter, which was in response to an earlier letter from the Portland chapter of the national civil rights organization the Urban League.

But Rosenblum discovered that at least one Justice Department investigator performed digital surveillance.

Rosenblum said the department put an end to the surveillance after it became known.

“It is improper, and potentially unlawful, for the Oregon Department of Justice to conduct surveillance and investigations on an Oregonian merely for expressing a viewpoint, or for being a part of a social movement,” the letter from Urban League of Portland reads. “We are concerned that such unwarranted investigations are racially motivated, and create a chilling effect on social justice advocates, political activists and others who wish to engage in discourse about the issues of our time.”

Twitter Becomes FBI’s Most Effective Informant As ISIS Supporters Take to Social Media

twitterBy Steve Neavling

One of the FBI’s most effective informants in the crackdown against terrorism has been Twitter.

The social network is an “extraordinarily effective way to sell shoes, or vacations, or terrorism,” FBI Director James Comey said recently, reports The Huffington Post. “It’s buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. It’s the constant feed … the devil on your shoulder all day long, saying, ‘Kill, kill, kill.'”

What makes it such an effective tool for investigators is the ability to monitor tweets, especially those supporting ISIS.

Investigators said Twitter has helped crack numerous cases recently and continues to be helpful

FBI Says Twitter Needs to Do More to Monitor Site for Terrorism-Related Activity

twitterBy Steve Neavling

Could Twitter do more to stop terrorists from recruiting others?

It’s a debate waging in the Senate after an FBI official told Fox Business News that Twitter “needs to do more in setting up teams to troll, monitor and review all terrorist-related tweets and content.”

Twitter fired back that it notifies authorities of immediate threats and shuts down terrorist-related accounts. But a Twitter spokesman said, “Like all of our technology industry peers, we do not proactively monitor content.:”

A 2016 funding bill would require Twitter and other social media companies to report terrorism, but it was blocked earlier this week by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

“Internet companies should not be subject to broad requirements to police the speech of their users,” Wyden said.

Wyden said stopping terrorism is a top priority, “But I haven’t yet heard any law enforcement or intelligence agencies suggest that this provision will actually help catch terrorists.”

Donald Trump Asks FBI to Investigate Alleged Threat from Escaped Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’

Donald Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling

Presidential candidate and shrewd businessman Donald Trump is asking the FBI to investigate a Twitter threat he received from an account purportedly run by escaped Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, ABC News reports.

Trump said the threat came after he made comments about the escaped drug lord.

“I’m fighting for much more than myself,” Trump said about the threat Monday in a statement. “I’m fighting for the future of our country which is being overrun by criminals. You can’t be intimidated. This is too important.”

One of the tweets read: “Mexico’s biggest drug lord escapes from jail. Unbelievable corruption, and USA is paying the price. I told you so!” tweeted Trump.

On an account attributed to El Chap, Trump received the response: “Keep f—ing around, and I will make you swallow your whore words.”

Investigators are trying to determine the account’s origins.

Secret Service Kept Busy Monitoring President Obama’s New Twitter Account

By Steve Neavling

President Obama’s decision to join Twitter unleashed a torrent of hateful, even threatening tweets that have already caught the attention of the Secret Service.

Not only that, the White House is archiving every response to @POTUS, the Washington Post reports. 

So the newspaper kindly reminds readers to be wise when tweeting to the president of the United States.

“Just seconds after posting something online it has likely been disseminated to dozens of people and definitely been archived by an unknowable number of automated systems,” the programmer Pehr Hovey wrote in his master’s thesis on deleted tweets in 2010. “Though a delete button may provide solace to those having second thoughts, in reality it is a façade.”

Federal Authorities Were Investigating One of the Gunmen at Texas Cartoon Contest

By Steve Neavling

One of the gunmen behind the shooting at a Texas cartoon contest that featured images of Prophet Muhammad strongly hinted on Twitter that he was about to get violent about 20 minutes before opening fire, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

“May Allah accept us as mujahideen,” or holy warriors, he tweeted.

One of his hashtags read: “#texasattack.”

Federal authorities were tracking 31-year-old Elton Simpson’s Twitter account and even had an open investigation on him at the time.

Homeland Security and the FBI also issued bulletins to local law enforcement, warning that the cartoon contest in Garland was a possible terrorism target.

Simpson and his roommate, Nadir Soofi, were killed, but not before shooting a security guard in the leg.


DEA Group Apologizes for Tweet Commemorating Black History Month with Arrest

By Steve Neavling

A group affiliated with the DEA has apologized after tweeting a photo of a Harlem drug dealer to commemorate Black History month, The Washington Post reports.

The DEA said the tweet was a misunderstanding.

“The focus of original tweet was to be invaluable hard work of African American DEA agents, not the target of the investigation,” the DEA Educational Foundation said in an apology Monday.

The tweet was offensive because of the discorporate impact the drug was has had on black families and communities, The Post wrote.

“With the Justice Department and politicians from both political partiestaking active steps to reduce racial disparities in drug sentencing, and many states taking steps to reduce penalties for drug possession or legalize the use of some drugs altogether, the DEA has, at times, appeared out of touch with public sentiment in recent years.”

 Other Stories of Interest

Who Tweeted a Bomb Threat That Triggered F-16 Jets to Escort Commercial Aircraft?

By Steve Neavling 

The FBI is investigating a bomb threat made in a tweet that prompted the U.S. military to send F-16 fighter aircraft to escort two jets bound for Atlanta on Saturday, the Associated Press reports.

The threats involved a Southwest Airlines flight from Milwaukee and a Delta Air Lines flight from Portland, Oregon.

Authorities scoured the planes and found no evidence of bombs.

“We certainly take these types of threats seriously and we’re pursuing them aggressively,”Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Stephen Emmett told The Associated Press on Sunday.

“We are continuing to pursue leads in the efforts to locate this individual,” he added.

The military dispatched the fighter jets after being alerted about the tweet.