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Showing posts from August, 2015

An investigation in Baltimore has 'opened the floodgates' on the use of secretive FBI cellphone tracking devices

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By Barbara Tasch Business Insider


A USA Today investigation has led Baltimore defense lawyers to review almost 2,000 cases in which police secretly used expensive, powerful cellphone tracking devices known as stingrays.


In Maryland, the use of electronic surveillance must be disclosed in court, but the use of stingrays in these cases was never revealed, according to USA Today.
From the 1,900 cases USA Today identified in which police used a stingray, at least 200 public defender clients were convicted of a crime.


"This is a crisis, and to me it needs to be addressed very quickly. No stone is going to be left unturned at this point," Baltimore's public defender, Natalie Finegar, told USA Today.


Related article: How to beat Stingray, NSA, FBI, and police surveillance


The device has been marketed as a tool to catch terrorists and kidnappers, according to USA Today, but police in many parts of the US have been accused time and again of using it to catch perpetrators of petty crime…

Hacker killed by US Drone strike

By Mark Hosenball


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A British hacker who U.S. and European officials said became a top cyber expert for Islamic State in Syria has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, a U.S. source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.


It was the second reported killing of a senior Islamic State figure in the last eight days after the group's second-in-command was killed in a U.S. air strike in Iraq on Aug. 18.

The source indicated that the U.S. Defense Department was likely involved in the drone strike that killed British hacker Junaid Hussain, a former Birmingham, England, resident.

A CSO Online report said the strike took place on Tuesday near Raqqa, Syria. Hussain, 21, moved to Syria sometime in the last two years.

U.S. and European government sources told Reuters earlier this year that they believed Hussain was the leader of CyberCaliphate, a hacking group which in January attacked a Twitter account belonging to the Pentagon, th…

Police State, DC

By Perry Stein
Washington Post


Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D)  will hold a press conference Thursday morning to outline her new agenda to reduce crime in the city — and Black Lives Matter organizers will be there to say her approach is wrong.


Bowser is expected to ask the D.C. Council to expand law enforcement powers, making it easier for officers to search individuals on parole or probation and immediately detain anyone found in violation of the terms of release. This announcement comes amid a citywide homicide spike — one that city officials says is partially driven by repeat offenders.


Related article: Pig tactics and how to beat them


The D.C. region’s chapter of Black Lives Matter is calling on residents to attend Bowser’s press conference at 10:30 a.m. at the former Malcolm X Elementary School near the Congress Heights Metro station to express their concerns over her agenda. Nationwide, Black Lives Matter activists have called to limit police interventions, which seems to contradict with …

Police secretly track cellphones to solve routine crimes

Brad Heath, USA TODAY

BALTIMORE — The crime itself was ordinary: Someone smashed the back window of a parked car one evening and ran off with a cellphone. What was unusual was how the police hunted the thief.

Detectives did it by secretly using one of the government’s most powerful phone surveillance tools — capable of intercepting data from hundreds of people’s cellphones at a time — to track the phone, and with it their suspect, to the doorway of a public housing complex. They used it to search for a car thief, too. And a woman who made a string of harassing phone calls. 

In one case after another, USA TODAY found police in Baltimore and other cities used the phone tracker, commonly known as a stingray, to locate the perpetrators of routine street crimes and frequently concealed that fact from the suspects, their lawyers and even judges. In the process, they quietly transformed a form of surveillance billed as a tool to hunt terrorists and kidnappers into a staple of everyday policing.

CIA Spies Caught in Iran

By Christopher R Rice Does anyone else remember this headline from July 24, 2015: CIA Confident It Would Catch Iran Cheating on Nuclear Deal (ABC news) The number two man at the CIA said today he has a "high degree of confidence" that if Iran cheats on the newly-signed, controversial nuclear deal, the U.S. intelligence community would catch them in the act. The CIA lost its agents in the Middle East in 2011. The CIA is sloppy, spies on the US senate, is run by a BDSM freak and is completely worthless as a spy agency. Hence the CIA's need to spy on the very people funding the agency. SMH.

There's a running joke, goes something like this: what ever you do, do not allow yourself to be captured by the Americans. They are so sex crazed they want to get freaky deiky with the prisoners. Nov. 21, 2011 Exclusive: CIA Spies Caught, Fear Execution in Middle East(ABC news) By Matthew Cole In a significant failure for the United States in the Mideast, more than a dozen spies workin…

FBI: Woman Robs Third North Side Bank In A Month

(CBS) — A woman suspected of robbing two TCF Bank branches this month on the North Side struck again Saturday afternoon, this time in the Uptown neighborhood.


At 3:07 p.m. Saturday, the woman entered the TCF Bank branch at 4355 N. Sheridan Rd. and handed the teller a note demanding money, according to Chicago Police and the FBI.


She then ran away with an unknown amount of money.


The woman implied she had a weapon, but did not show one, police said.


The suspect is described as a 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-5 black woman between 30 and 40 years old, the FBI said. She was wearing a white shirt and a white hat, police said.


Related article: (How to) Rob a bank and get away


The same woman is suspected in a bank robbery in the Edgewater neighborhood on Aug. 14 and again in the Lake View neighborhood on Aug. 5.


The Aug. 14 robbery happened at 3:52 p.m. at a TCF Bank branch at 5343 N. Broadway, the FBI said.


On Aug. 5, the woman is suspected of robbing a TCF at 3531 N. Broadway at 12:56 p.m., the FBI said. I…

Judge denies injunction to Backpage.com

By Chicago Tribune


A federal judge on Monday denied a preliminary injunction request that would have forced Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to retract statements he made in lobbying credit card companies to block their cards from being used to buy sex ads on Backpage.com.


In his 29-page order, U.S. District Judge John Tharp wrote that the "cease and desist" letters Dart wrote to Visa and Mastercard warning them that Backpage was a haven for prostitution and human trafficking could have been construed as threats. But they did not amount to censorship, since the sheriff had no legal authority to force the credit card companies to act, he held.


In fact, evidence revealed in a hearing last week showed that Mastercard had already "taken steps to disaffiliate with Backpage" well before Dart sent the letters in June, Tharp wrote.


The judge also said he considered "the profound interests of the victims of the human trafficking that Backpage's advertising fac…