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Beware of Hijacked Facebook Accounts

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Of course this isn't a problem limited only to Facebook, but the FBI issued a warning about the rise of hijacking scams. This is where a bad guy gets your login information through various means and then poses as you on your account. They'll send an urgent request for help or money to all your friends who may be fooled and comply (as in the case of Bryan Rutberg).

Remember to use good passwords and protect them especially the password for your e-mail account (which can be used to unlock all your other accounts).
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National Security Letter Successfully Challenged

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National Security Letters (NSLs) have been a huge issue since the FBI and has abused them terribly since gaining the power. The worst part is that they include a gag order that prevents you from complaining about it or seeking help.

Well at least one individual has challenged an NSL and won.

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FBI Director Evades Questions From Congress On FBI Torture

I got this e-mail from a member of congress who I must have contacted at some point because I’m on his mailing list. Anyway, I think the point that he makes is valid. By the own words of the director of the FBI, if the CIA were torturing prisoners, the FBI would have a responsibility to investigate, but they didn’t. Congressman Wexler pressured him to answer why and he evaded it. Here’s the email:
This morning, during a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, I questioned FBI Director Robert Mueller on his agency’s response to claims – made by his own FBI agents – that the CIA was torturing prisoners. I wanted to find out why, if the FBI’s own agents had alleged illegal actions were taking place, there was no investigation into the CIA’s illegal and immoral practices. Mueller’s responses, which I would like you to read below, create new concerns and call for further investigation in the days ahead. I believe Mr. Mueller owes more to Congress and the American people than the half-answers he gave in his testimony today. I would urge you to contact the editors and news departments of your local media and ask them to look into the responses below. It is critical that this discussion takes place beyond emails and blogs – and is covered by the mainstream media. In two weeks the Judiciary Committee will be holding hearings to investigate the fact that the highest levels of the Bush Administration sanctioned and ordered the torture of prisoners in United States custody. This is intolerable and we must vigorously oppose this policy that demeans our nation and offends our conscience. Please read the below transcript of my exchange with Mr. Muller. This is a deeply troubling interchange which should be alarming to all Americans. Congressman Robert Wexler DONATE —————————- (TRANSCRIPT:) Robert Wexler: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Director, in January of 2006, the New York Times reported that the NSA wireless wiretapping program had produced thousands of leads each month that the FBI had to track down, but that no Al-Qaeda networks were discovered. During a July 17, 2007 briefing, FBI deputy director John Pistole indicated that the FBI was not aware of any Al-Qaeda sleeper cells operating in the United States. In August of 2007 Congress passed the Protect America Act, giving the intelligence community greater access to electronic communications coming into and out of the United States. I have two questions in this regard. RW: Has the FBI found any sleeper cells yet? One… RW: Two. Has the NSA’s wireless wiretapping programs either before the Protect America Act or after led to the prosecution and conviction of any terrorists in the United States? Robert Mueller: Well, as to your first question as to whether we have found affiliates or, as you would call them, cells of Al-Qaeda in the United States, yes we have. Again, I cannot get into it in public session, but I would say yes we have. With regard to the relationship of a particular case or individual to the terrorist surveillance program, again that is something that would have to be covered in a closed session. RW: Alright, Mr. Director. An LA Times article from October, 2007 quotes one senior federal enforcement official as saying quote “the CIA determined they were going to torture people, and we made the decision not to be involved ? end quote. The article goes on to say that some FBI officials went to you and that you quote “pulled many of the agents back from playing even a supporting role in the investigations to avoid exposing them to legal jeopardy ? end quote. RW: My question Mr. Director, I congratulate you for pulling the FBI agents back, but why did you not take more substantial steps to stop the interrogation techniques that your own FBI agents were telling you were illegal? Why did you not initiate criminal investigations when your agents told you the CIA and the Department of Defense were engaging in illegal interrogation techniques, and rather than simply pulling your agents out, shouldn’t you have directed them to prevent any illegal interrogations from taking place? RM: I can go so far sir as to tell you that a protocol in the FBI is not to use coercion in any of our interrogations or our questioning and we have abided by our protocol. RW: I appreciate that. What is the protocol say when the FBI knows that the CIA is engaging or the Department of Defense is engaging in an illegal technique? What does the protocol say in that circumstance? RM: We would bring it up to appropriate authorities and determine whether the techniques were legal or illegal. RW: Did you bring it up to appropriate authorities? RM: All I can tell you is that we followed our own protocols. RW: So you can’t tell us whether you brought it; when your own FBI agents came to you and said the CIA is doing something illegal which caused you to say don’t you get involved; you can’t tell us whether you then went to whatever authority? RM: I’ll tell you we followed our own protocols. RW: And what was the result? RM: We followed our own protocols. We followed our protocols. We did not use coercion. We did not participate in any instance where coercion was used to my knowledge. RW: Did the CIA use techniques that were illegal? RM: I can’t comment on what has been done by another agency and under what authorities the other agency may have taken actions. RW: Why can’t you comment on the actions of another agency? RM: I leave that up to the other agency to answer questions with regard to the actions taken by that agency and the legal authorities that may apply to them. RW: Are you the chief legal law enforcement agency in the United States? RM: I am the Director of the FBI. RW: And you do not have authority with respect to any other governmental agency in the United States? Is that what you’re saying? RM: My authority is given to me to investigate. Yes we do. RW: Did somebody take away that authority with respect to the CIA? RM: Nobody has taken away the authority. I can tell you what our protocol was, and how we followed that protocol. RW: Did anybody take away the authority with respect to the Department of Defense? RM: I’m not certain what you mean. RW: Your authority to investigate an illegal torture technique. RM: There has to be a legal basis for us to investigate, and generally that legal basis is given to us by the Department of Justice. Any interpretations of the laws given to us by the Department of Justice…. (talking over each other) RW: But apparently your own agents made a determination that the actions by the CIA and the Department of Defense were illegal, so much so that you authorized, ordered, your agents not to participate. But that’s it. RM: I’ve told you what our protocol was, and I’ve indicated that we’ve adhered to our protocol throughout. RW: My time is up. Thank you very much Mr. Director.
Could we get a little accountability over here?! Please? Tags: ,

FBI at it Again. Want ISPs to Record and Store Your Activity Online

The FBI, which is proving to to be the worst thing to happen to America since dubya, is pushing for laws that will require your Internet Service Providers to record all that you do and make it available for police review.
"Records retention by ISPs would be tremendously helpful in giving us a historic basis to make a case on a number of child pornographers who use the Internet to push their pornography" or lure children, Mueller said.
Yes it would. But it would also allow them to many other things that might not be so justified. If we've learned anything, its that the FBI can't be trusted with unchecked snooping powers. (H/T to slashdot for the link) Tags:

FBI to bully Innocent for DNA

The U.S. government will soon begin collecting DNA samples from all citizens arrested in connection with any federal crime and from many immigrants detained by federal authorities, adding genetic identifiers from more than 1 million individuals a year to the swiftly growing federal law enforcement DNA database.
If you are found innocent, you can't be treated like a criminal. Duh. What is happening at the FBI that they can violate our privacy and rights over and over and over? (H/T to privacyorg for the link) Tags:

FBI Botched Investigation To Provide False Justification for Patriot Act Powers

The FBI has been doing a lot of illegal and immoral things recently haven't they?
Counterterrorism officials in FBI headquarters slowed an investigation into a possible conspirator in the 2005 London bombings by forcing a field agent to return documents acquired from a U.S. university. Why? Because the agent received the documents through a lawful subpoena, while headquarters wanted him to demand the records under the USA Patriot Act, using a power the FBI did not have, but desperately wanted.
And when they got the power, they horribly abused it. Nice huh? (H/T to slashdot for the link) Tags: ,

Audit Shows Even More FBI Abuses

The agencies that are supposed to protect us turned against us. It’s depressing that more hasn’t been done about this and sooner. Of course, you know why Bush isn’t defending them the same way as some other agencies? Because he didn’t authorize it and therefore doesn’t need to shield them to cover his own butt. That’s my guess anyway. Tags: , , ,

Troubles in the FBI

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A scandal with the FBI showed that they had been abusing their power, breaking rules, and now are being accused of breaking the law (which is totally inline with all government agencies in the Bush regime).

Considering their recent track record, maybe approving their massive new data mining project would be a little premature…

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FBI Illegally Circumvents Subpeonas

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According to the Washington Post, the FBI issued thousands of national security letters many without any clear ties to "emergencies" or current investigations.

Referring to the exigent circumstance letters, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote in a letter Friday to Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine: "It is . . . difficult to imagine why there should not have been swift and severe consequences for anyone who knowingly signed . . . a letter containing false statements. Anyone at the FBI who knew about that kind of wrongdoing had an obligation to put a stop to it and report it immediately."

No kidding. What I don't get is why everyone is saying that the "FBI's use of the exigency letters "circumvented" the law" rather than just say "They broke the law and many of the buggers are going to jail".

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FBI Abuses Power – Accountability No Where In Sight

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Bruce Shneier says it better, with more sources, but the FBI is abusing it's powers to circumvent the subpeona process.

The Justice Department's inspector general has prepared a scathing report criticizing how the F.B.I. uses a form of administrative subpoena to obtain thousands of telephone, business and financial records without prior judicial approval.
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