The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.
If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused. …
Some of the government orders demand not only a user’s password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt, according to a person familiar with the requests. A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password. Other orders demand the secret question codes often associated with user accounts.
via CNET News.
Well this sure has gotten ridiculous.
FBI investigators for at least five years have routinely used a sophisticated cellphone tracking tool that can pinpoint callers’ locations and listen to their conversations — all without getting a warrant for it, a federal court was told this week.
The use of the “Stingray,” as the tool is called, “is a very common practice” by federal investigators, Justice Department attorneys told the U.S. District Court for Arizona Thursday, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
via Washington Times.
This is but the latest intrusion in our private lives by an over zealous and over reaching government of jack-booted thugs.
Where is Eric Holder on this? He’s the head of the DOJ… and that head should roll. If Holder had any dignity he would have resigned a long time ago. It’s time for Congress to step-up the efforts to get Holder out.
Naturally, the complacent media is going to bury this story.
This was released while I was on hiatus.
Black Friday gun sales hit an all time record high last week with demand for new firearms so overwhelming that it caused outages at the FBI background check center on two separate occasions.
Fueled by fears that the Obama administration will go after gun rights during a lame duck term, the FBI reported 154,873 background check requests on Friday – a 20 per cent increase on last year’s record total of 129,166 checks.
Good time to be in the gun manufacturing business.
We all knew this was coming:
Federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Washington have launched a new criminal investigation of Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. involving financial improprieties, including possible misuse of funds monitored by Congress, law enforcement sources tell NBC News.The probe prompted lawyers for Jackson to meet with federal prosecutors this week in an attempt to persuade them not to indict the congressman.
via NBC Chicago.
This couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.
Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.
“This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI’s violent-crime rates,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.”
via Washington Times.
Well right thinking people have known this for years. However looks like many in the media still have their head in the sand.
What’s also interesting is that:
Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have “shall issue” laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.
I guess when the facts don’t fit the Brady Campaign’s preconceived notion of crime they have nothing to say.
State Rep. Derrick Smith on Monday spoke publicly for the first time about his bribery case, saying he would not “cower” and vowing to fight the charge against him.Holding a prepared statement in front of him and talking in a shaky voice minutes after he pleaded not guilty to a federal court indictment, the West Side Democrat referenced “shenanigans” he said the FBI pulled on him. Smith’s lawyer later castigated the government’s confidential informant.
“I intend to fight these charges. I look forward to having the opportunity to clear my name,” Smith said in a press availability at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Smith said he was troubled by “the shenanigans being played by the FBI to lean on people around me.”
“I will not cower,” Smith vowed. “I intend to stand tall with my wife, family, friends, House colleagues and lawyers.”
via Chicago Sun-Times.
Seems to me like he’s going to be headed to prison but there’s no doubt that he’s entitled to plea not guilty and get a fair trial complete with a jury of his peers.
Ha ha ha ha!
State Rep. Derrick Smith, a Democrat from Chicago, was arrested today for allegedly pocketing a $7,000 cash bribe to write an official letter of support for a day care center he believed was seeking a state grant.
The arrest came after an undercover operation launched by the FBI in December with the help of an undisclosed individual who works on Smith’s political campaigns, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
The informant told investigators that Smith had talked about needing help with fundraising since he was appointed to the House seat last year. Smith allegedly said he wanted donations in the range of $5,000 to $7,000 and was willing to accommodate reasonable requests from donors, prosecutors said.
via Chicago Tribune.
Oh, this guy is so going down. Read the story; the U.S. attorney has this guy dead-to-rights.
But the real question is who’s going to go down with him. Mr. Smith is (was?) supported by a literal who’s who of the Chicago Democratic Party. Jesse White, the Teachers’ Union, AFL-CIO, Ald. Fioretti, etc.
What’s even more interesting is that Smith’s opponent, Tom Swiss, is a former GOP party official of some sort in Cook County. So now Democrats are forced to decide whether to vote for a guy who takes bribes or a former Republican.
Down right hilarious.
… The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled it is now legal for police to search cell phones without a warrant. …
The decision stems from an Indiana case where police arrested a man for dealing drugs. An officer searched the suspect’s cell phone without warrant.
The judge in the appeal case, Judge Richard Posner, agreed that the officer had to search the phone immediately or risk losing valuable evidence. Judge Posner ruled it was a matter of urgency, arguing it was possible for an accomplice to wipe the phone clean using a computer or other remote device.
Defenbaugh says the ruling takes into account exigent or time-sensitive circumstances that could be life saving in more urgent cases, such as child abduction. ”If the child is alive and you’re only minutes behind, that could be critical to recovering that child alive,” added Defenbaugh.
via CBS Dallas / Fort Worth.
Again, the 7th Circuit shows that it’s inept. This case needs to go upstairs to the USSC and be corrected right away.
Note that the actual facts of the case so not present any “child abduction” or any other life or death situation. Yet this is the hypothetical the court relies on in order to make its case.
It again reminds me of the Simpson’s.
There were no facts in this case that present any “exigent circumstances” that required police to take immediate action (yes, I know this sentence is redundant.)
And even IF the police were concerned about the spoliation of evidence by someone other than the person in custody using a computer to delete evidence on the cell phone there is a very simply solution. TURN OFF THE PHONE. Take it back to the lab and let the boys and girls with glasses and pocket-protectors have at it — AFTER YOU HAVE THE WARRANT.
This is another example of our civil rights being eroded by a government that wants absolute control over every aspect of your life.
So I understand that our unwanted and tried to be run out of town U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois has indicted Old Man Beavers. The feds are usually pretty good about putting their case together and have a 85-90% conviction rate. So it’s safe to say that the Hog of Cook County is going to join the long list of Chicago (specifically and Illinois generally) politicians who in the end do time. Way to make us proud.
But has anyone asked where Lisa Madigan was when all this was going down? Isn’t this corrupt political number six or seven for the U.S. Attorney? How many politicians has Ms. Madigan prosecuted? Exactly NONE.
Well ain’t that something.