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Tag: wiretap

FBI Director Comey Asks Justice Department to Deny Trump’s Wiretapping Claims

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly deny President Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that President Obama had ordered a wiretap on Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.

The New York Times first broke the story, followed by the Washington Post, both of which cited law enforcement officials.

The request came after Trump’s twitter storm in which he accused Obama, without providing evidence, of wire tapping the Trump Tower.

Obama officials vehemently denied the former president was behind any wiretapping.

Both the Justice Department and FBI have declined to comment publicly.

Other Stories of Interest

NSA’s Widespread Surveillance Even Includes Members of Congress, Their Staff Members

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Not even members of Congress are immune to the NSA’s wide surveillance reach.

During a House Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole admitted that the NSA “probably” collects phone records of lawmakers and their staff, the National Journal reports.

But Justice Department official said the information isn’t used without a reason to search.

“We’re not allowed to look at any of those, however, unless we have reasonable, articulable suspicion that those numbers are related to a known terrorist threat,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said.

NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Gets Visit from Father in Russia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Since Edward Snowden fled his home in Hawaii several months ago after leaking sensitive NSA information, he has lived a rather solitary life.

Now he’s getting a visit from his father, Lon Snowden, of Pennsylvania, the New York Times reports.

Lon Snowden arrived Thursday morning at Sheremetyevo Airport in Russia, where his son was granted temporary asylum.

Snowden said he didn’t expect his son to return to the U.S.

“That’s his decision you know. He’s an adult,” Snowden told reporters.

Obama Administration Considers Making Internet Wiretapping Easier

istock illustration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration is close to stiffening surveillance laws to make it easier to wiretap people who use the Internet, the New York Times reports.

Saying it’s much easier to wiretap people using traditional phone services, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III wants the federal government to extend the practice to monitor suspects who communicate using the Internet.

The proposal is being reviewed by the White House, the Times wrote.

Privacy advocates aren’t so happy about the proposed change.

“I think the F.B.I.’s proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves,” said Gregory T. Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there, where there aren’t the same mandates.”

Column: Should FBI Be Allowed to Wiretap Facebook?

By Adam Cohen
Time magazine

We may all be getting a new Facebook friend soon: the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI wants to shift its wiretapping from old-school telephone lines to person-to-person platforms like email and instant messaging and even social media like Facebook.

To help it make the switch, the FBI is asking Congress to require tech companies to rewrite their software so it has a “back door” that the FBI can use to listen in.

It is all part of an initiative known as “Going Dark.”

To read the full column click here.

 

 

FBI Wants Wiretap Friendly Law for Social Networks Like Facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI wants greater access.

CNET reports that that the FBI is pushing for legislation to force social networks like Facebook and Twitter, email providers and peer-to-peer networks to become “wiretap friendly.

CNET reports that the legislation would expand a current law for cell phone operators and broadband networks.

To read more click here. 

 

Column: Congress Playing Games With USA Patriot Act

By Ronald Kessler
Newsmax.com

Once again, members of Congress are putting our lives at risk by playing games with the USA Patriot Act.

Because of opposition of Democrats and some Republicans, crucial components of the act are set to expire on May 27 after Congress agreed to a temporary extension.

The provisions deal with roving wiretaps, “lone wolf” terrorism suspects, and the government’s ability to seize “any tangible thing” such as records.

Roving wiretaps simply allow a judge to authorize electronic surveillance of a terrorist suspect regardless of what phone he uses.

Prior to passage of the law, the FBI had to return to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for new authorization each time a terrorist changed phones. While the FBI applied for new authorization, a terrorist could have changed phones again and blown up an airplane in mid-flight.

To read full column click here.

WEEKEND STORIES OF INTEREST

More Charges Come Raining Down on Ex-D.C. Suburban County Exec Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson/wusa

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Jack Johnson, who in his final weeks as a county executive in suburban Washington got busted on a wiretap advising his wife to hide evidence as FBI agents knocked on the door, was indicted Monday on charges of conspiracy, extortion, tampering with a witness and evidence and taking more than $200,000 in bribes.

The indictment against former Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson, 61, highlighted the rampant corruption in one of the most affluent  African-American majority counties in the nation. Johnson, a former state’s attorney in Prince George’s County, and his wife, a newly elected county council member,  were originally arrested in November on a criminal complaint for evidence tampering.

“Pay-to-play government is not democratic government,” Baltimore U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. “Anyone who seeks benefits or approvals from the government should be evaluated on the merits, without being extorted for payments or losing out to competitors who pay bribes. Government employees flagrantly abuse the public trust when they take money in return for official acts.”

Read more »