Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

WASHINGTON — In early 2003, F.B.I. agents hit a roadblock in a secret investigation, called Operation Trail Mix. For months, agents had been intercepting phone calls and emails belonging to members of an animal welfare group that was believed to be sabotaging operations of a company that was using animals to test drugs. But encryption software had made the emails unreadable.

So investigators tried something new. They persuaded a judge to let them remotely, and secretly, install software on the group’s computers to help get around the encryption.

That effort, revealed in newly declassified and released records, shows in new detail how F.B.I. hackers worked to defeat encryption more than a decade before the agency’s recent fight with Apple over access to a locked iPhone. The Trail Mix case was, in some ways, a precursor to the Apple dispute. In both cases, the agents could not decode the data themselves, but found a clever workaround.

Full Story @ [New York Times]

A new facial recognition system being used by the FBI has managed to track down and capture a convicted paedophile on the Most Wanted List who disappeared 19 years ago.

Lynn Cozart, 63, from Beaver County, Pennsylvania was convicted for sexually assaulting his three children in February 1996, and he went missing just before his sentencing hearing two months later.

He managed to leave the state and stay under the radar for almost two decades, until the FBI used the $1bn (£650m, €900m) Next Generation Identification (NGI) system built by Lockheed Martin to track him down.

The FBI submitted Cozart’s mug shot to the NGI system, which used facial recognition to capture biometric data of his face.

The system then sought matches from other databases belonging to state agencies across the US, from government-issued licence databases to any form of government-collected data of scanned facial images taken from video or photos.

The system spotted a match amongst driving licence photos held by Arkansas’ motor vehicle department, and from there, the fugitive was tracked down to yet another state – Muskogee in Arkansas, more than 1,160 miles away from Pennsylvania.

Cozart was found working in Walmart under an assumed name, David Stone, and was apprehended by the town’s police officers.

Source: [ibtimes]

In response to a Facebook post claiming that a Texas militia leader had been contacted by the FBI and instructed to alert militias, Oath Keepers, and three percenters to be ready and alert for possible terror attacks on July 4, Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes posted the following on Facebook:

Oath Keepers has not been contacted by any Federal agency or agents with a request for assistance. However, we all certainly should be on heightened alert, with our heads on a swivel this weekend and ready to protect ourselves, our families, and our fellow Americans if there is an attack. Frankly, we should all be doing that all the time, anyway, and that means going armed at all times so we are able to put a stop to an active shooter or shooters wherever, or whenever, they attack.

Robert-HeinleinAnyone who is trained and competent with their weapons should have a rifle and a rifle bag or chest rig with sufficient loaded magazines in their vehicle, at the least, and also a pistol on their person, at all times. But not just this weekend, and not just because of any particular threat – because that is our standing duty, day in, day out, 24/7 and 365 days a year. We the People are the true first responders. That’s how we should all be, all the time. We don’t need the FBI to tell us that. Now, if some field agent is switched on and has a clue, that’s great. But we have not been contacted by any.

And for those who don’t trust the FBI, I think you are perfectly justified in not trusting them. The FBI has a long history of COINTELPRO and manipulation, including sending in agent provocateurs, confidential informants, and actual agents to stir people up, cause division, and otherwise just wreak havoc. I don’t trust that agency any more than I would trust the CIA or NSA. Are there individual agents who are on our side? Yes, there are. But unless you know them personally, and have some proof that they are on the side of the Constitution, I think your suspicion is healthy and more than justified. And if I see anything suspicious on the 4th, I will alert a local cop, not the FBI, since the damn FBI could be part of the suspicious activity. They have been caught several times grooming and handling would-be terrorists (some of whom likely only became wannabe terrorists because of some FBI agent or paid informant recruiting them and talking them into it). – Stewart Rhodes

Source: [Oath Keepers]

Although the government admits it has absolutely no credible evidence that ISIS or anybody else plans to attack the United States over the 4th of July holiday, the FBI has moved to establish command centers around the United States.

The command centers will integrate local, state and federal law enforcement agencies “so officials can gauge the threat level and respond quickly,” according to Fox News.

Additionally, the move appears to be an effort to engage in precrime tactics:

Another law enforcement source told Fox the FBI’s strategy has shifted toward getting ISIS supporters off the streets as soon as possible, given that it’s hard to predict when one might go operational. This could include arresting individuals on lesser charges and then building a broader case once that person is in custody.

The FBI is known for grooming patsies through criminal informants and then arresting them and working with the establishment media to create sensationalistic headlines that give the impression the United States is under attack by terrorists.

Moreover, command centers and so-called fusion centers around the country are routinely used to monitor political activists, not supposed terrorists. The centers often work hand-in-hand with the private sector to undermine the Fist Amendment rights of American citizens.

“The anti-terrorist apparatus that the U.S. government established after 9/11 has now been turned against law-abiding citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. This apparatus consists not only of advanced surveillance technologies but also of ‘fusion centers’ in state after state that coordinate the efforts of law enforcement up and down the line and collaborate with leading members of the private sector,” writes Matthew Rothschild.

Hyperbolic terror threats issued by the likes of CBS News senior security contributor and former CIA deputy director Michael Morell (see below video) and the Washington establishment are designed to keep a largely bogus and evolving domestic terror threat scheme and the war on terror business model on track despite the fact most Americans are sick and tired of endless terror warnings that are blown out of proportion and do not pan out.

The terror threats will continue to be used as a pretext to build and expand the surveillance grid in the United States. The target of this apparatus is not ISIS and foreign jihadist terrorists, but the American people.

Source: [InfoWars]

uncle-sam-phone-booth

In the last few months, several government officials, led by the FBI’s Director James Comey, have been complaining that the rise of encryption technologies would lead to a “very dark place” where cops and feds can’t fight and stop criminals.

But new numbers released by the US government seem to contradict this doomsday scenario.

In 2014, encryption thwarted four wiretaps out of 3,554, according to an annual report published on Wednesday by the US agency that oversees federal courts.

The report reveals that state law enforcement agencies encountered encryption in 22 wiretaps last year. Out of those, cops were foiled on only two occasions. As for the feds, they encountered encryption in just three wiretaps, and could not decipher the intercepted communications in two of them.

“They’re blowing it out of proportion,” Hanni Fahkoury, an attorney at the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told Motherboard. “[Encryption] was only a problem in five cases of the more than 3,500 wiretaps they had up. Second, the presence of encryption was down by almost 50 percent from the previous year.

“So this is on a downward trend, not upward,” he wrote in an email.

In fact, cops found less encryption last year than in the year prior. In 2013, state authorities encountered encryption in 41 cases, versus 22 in 2014. At the federal level, there were three cases of encryption in 2014, against none in 2013. (The report also refers to five federal wiretaps conducted in “previous years” but only reported in 2014. Of those, the feds were able to crack the communications in four of the five.)

Full Story @ [Motherboard]

Michael German spent 16 years in the FBI, going undercover with neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. He talks to NPR’s Eric Westervelt about law enforcement’s counterterrorism strategy.

Source: [NPR]

The Inner-workings of the FBI

FBI-entrapment-DukaClick to watch video

Beyond the sensational headlines is the story of paid FBI informants with long criminal histories who spent a year working to befriend the brothers and enlist them as terrorists. This effort, both expensive and time-consuming, nevertheless failed to convince the Duka brothers to take part in a violent attack. Indeed, over the course of hundreds of hours of surveillance, the plot against Fort Dix was never even raised with them.

In the years since these events occurred, the use of dubious informants in terrorism investigations by the FBI has become almost routine. When purported terror plots are “revealed,” they almost invariably involve paid government informants at every level of their ideation, facilitation and planning. But the story of the Duka brothers is an early example of this type of case — and it still stands out because of the deliberate and brazen way the brothers were entrapped by authorities, assisted by their paid informants. Indeed, one might argue that the targeting of the Dukas was the prototype for the program of state-orchestrated terrorism plots that continues today.

For the Duka family, the arrests marked a tragic turn. They had escaped the turmoil of the former Yugoslavia and managed to start anew in the United States, only to find three sons publicly branded as terrorists. Dritan, Shain and Eljvir, seized when they were 28, 26 and 23, would be convicted of conspiring to kill U.S. military personnel and sentenced to life in prison, devastating the Duka family and putting an end to their nascent American dream.

The press conference and ensuing case garnered national attention, and the brothers and their friends quickly became known as the “Fort Dix Five,” characterized in the media as a terrorist cell that intended to kill servicemen and attack facilities at the base. For Christie, now a possible contender for the GOP 2016 presidential nomination, the arrests would be a career turning point, helping galvanize his eventual rise to governor of New Jersey.

Source: [The Intercept]