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Posts Tagged FBI
From Rep. Sensenbrenner:
Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner reintroduced the ATF Elimination Act, legislation that would dissolve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and merge its exclusive duties into existing federal agencies.
Additionally, the Act calls for an immediate hiring freeze at the agency and requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to eliminate and reduce duplicative functions and waste, as well as report to Congress with a detailed plan on how the transition will take place. Further, it would transfer enforcement of firearms, explosives and arson laws to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products would be transferred to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Under this bill, the DEA and FBI would be required to submit to Congress a plan for winding down the affairs of the ATF after no more than 180 days, and field offices, along with other buildings and assets of the ATF, would be transferred to the FBI. It would have one year to report excess property to the General Services Administration (GSA).
Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Despite our country being trillions of dollars in debt, government spending continues to rise. Common sense budgeting solutions are necessary, and the ATF Elimination Act is one measure we can take to reduce spending, redundancy, and practice responsible governance. The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that has been branded by failure and lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges, and a lack of leadership. These facts make it a logical place to begin draining the swamp and acting in the best interest of the American taxpayer.”
From Fox News:
“There are probably 100 FBI agents who worked on the investigation of Mrs. Clinton– hardworking men and women in field who gathered evidence and interviewed witnesses–…and are furious at the decision not to prosecute her,” Napolitano said on The Kelly File.
From Fox St. Louis:
Shortcomings at federal and state agencies allow sales of firearms to people prohibited from buying them, a Justice Department inspector general probe found.
But for the past 15 years, the FBI and ATF have disagreed over what is a “fugitive from justice,” which would disqualify a prospective buyer from legally obtaining a firearm, the inspector general report said. There were nearly 50,000 such purchases between 1999 and 2015 that the FBI sought to deny, but that the ATF didn’t agree required the agency to try to retrieve the gun.
Hundreds of terrorists will fan out to infiltrate western Europe and the U.S. to carry out attacks on a wider scale as Islamic State is defeated in Syria, FBI Director James Comey warned.
“At some point there’s going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before,” Comey said Wednesday in New York. “We saw the future of this threat in Brussels and Paris,” said the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, adding that future attacks will be on “an order of magnitude greater.”
The database – called “Rap Back” – is run by the FBI and will alert Hawaiian law enforcement if a Hawaiian gun owner is arrested for a crime anywhere in the United States. Fox 59 quoted Ige saying, “This will allow county police departments in Hawaii to evaluate whether the firearm owner may continue to legally possess and own firearms.”
This is how the slow boil to confiscation starts.
From The Wall Street Journal:
“Some of the emotion that I’ve received around this issued remind me sometimes, in the absolutist and slippery slope arguments, reminds me of some of the rhetoric we hear in the gun debate,” Mr. Comey said, according to the Associated Press.
From the EFF:
In addition, this new method of accessing the phone raises questions about the government’s apparent use of security vulnerabilities in iOS and whether it will inform Apple about these vulnerabilities. As a panel of experts hand-picked by the White House recognized, any decision to withhold a security vulnerability for intelligence or law enforcement purposes leaves ordinary users at risk from malicious third parties who also may use the vulnerability. Thanks to a lawsuit by EFF, the government has released its official policy for determining when to disclose security vulnerabilities, the Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP).
From Oregon Live:
An FBI agent is suspected of lying about firing twice at Robert “LaVoy” Finicium and may have gotten help from four other FBI agents in covering up afterward, authorities revealed Tuesday.
Investigators gave no details to explain why the one FBI agent, a member of the Hostage Rescue Team, wouldn’t report the two shots. They also didn’t indicate what his four colleagues on the team did to warrant investigation other than saying it was related to conduct after the shooting.
If Apple is compelled to create a program that doesn’t exist for the government, that would be a type of slavery.
Instead, the DOJ has obtained the most unique search warrant I have ever seen in 40 years of examining them. Here, the DOJ has persuaded a judge to issue a search warrant for A THING THAT DOES NOT EXIST, by forcing Apple to create a key that the FBI is incapable of creating.
There is no authority for the government to compel a nonparty to its case to do its work, against the nonparty’s will, and against profound constitutional values. Essentially, the DOJ wants Apple to hack into its own computer product, thereby telling anyone who can access the key how to do the same.
If the courts conscripted Apple to work for the government and thereby destroy or diminish its own product, the decision would constitute a form of slavery, which is prohibited by our values and by the Thirteenth Amendment.
It’s way more complicated than the pundits are saying. To be fully informed read these articles.
From the EFF:
…the FBI’s demands reflect a familiar pattern of security agencies leveraging the most seemingly compelling situations—usually the aftermath of terror attacks—to create powers that are later used more widely and eventually abused. The government programs monitoring the telephone system and Internet, for example, were created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Those programs came to undermine the rights of billions of people, doing more damage to our security than the tragic events that prompted their creation.
ArsTechnica discusses Fifth Amendment issues:
But the Fifth Amendment goes beyond the well-known right against compelled self-incrimination. The relevant part for the Apple analysis is: “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The idea here is that the government is conscripting Apple to build something that it doesn’t want to do. That allegedly is a breach of its “substantive due process.” The government is “conscripting a company’s employees to become agents for the government,” as one source familiar with Apple’s legal strategy told Ars. The doctrine of substantive due process, according to Cornell University School of Law, holds “that the 5th and 14th Amendments require all governmental intrusions into fundamental rights and liberties be fair and reasonable and in furtherance of a legitimate governmental interest.”
Reason discusses the political battle over encryption:
This incident is only the latest conflict in a years-long encryption and security war waging between privacy- and security-minded groups and the law enforcement community. As more communications are digitized, authorities have been calling for industry assistance to build so-called government “backdoors” into secure technologies by hook or by crook.
Those in law enforcement fear a scenario where critical evidence in a terrorism or criminal case is beyond the reach of law enforcement because it is protected by strong encryption techniques that conceal data from anyone but the intended recipient. Hence, leaders at agencies like the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency, along with President Obama, have weighed in against strong encryption.
The FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division planned to launch the two-phased project on July 14, but postponed it for unspecified reasons. The bureau has not announced a new “go-live” date, but said rescheduling would not interfere with the peak fall sales season.
The system’s postponement comes on the heels of FBI Director James Comey informing reporters about how a clerical error during the screening process in April allowed a South Carolina man with felony drug charges to pass a background check before buying a handgun.
From The RAND Corporation:
Dozens of young Americans like Nguyen have attempted to join overseas jihadist groups in the past several years, raising special concern among counterterrorism officials that they might bring the fight home with them when they return. The threat was punctuated with gunfire earlier this year, when two French brothers—Chérif and Saïd Kouachi—stormed the Paris offices of the news magazine Charlie Hebdo; both had reportedly trained with groups in Yemen and then slipped back into French society.
A RAND analysis by internationally renowned terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins of more than 100 cases found that almost all of the American jihadists who went overseas ended up dead or landed in the same place as Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen. Brought down by his trusted confidante, who was really working undercover for the FBI, Nguyen admitted in court that he was trying to get to Pakistan to help train al Qaeda fighters. He was sent to prison for 13 years.
From Prince Law Offices, P.C.:
It’s no secret that ATF told at least one FFL they need to run a NICS check on trustees picking up NFA firearms on behalf of a trust. In a letter addressed toDakota Silencer, ATF explained:
The term “person” is defined by the GCA at 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(1), to include “any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, or joint stock company.”
ATF has interpreted the GCA exception in sections 922(t)(3)(B) and 478.102(d)(2) to mean that firearms transfers are exempt from a NICS check when they have been approved under the NFA to the person receiving the firearm. Unlike individuals, corporations, partnerships, and associations; unincorporated trusts do not fall within the definition of “person” in the GCA.
Because unincorporated trusts are not “persons” under the GCA, a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) cannot transfer firearms to them without complying with the GCA. Thus, when an FFL transfers an NFA firearm to a trustee or other person acting on behalf of a trust, the transfer is made to this person as an individual (i.e., not as a trust). As the trustee or other person acting on behalf of the trust is not the approved transferee under the NFA, 18 U.S.C. 5812, the trustee or other person acting on behalf of a trust must undergo a NICS check. The individual must also be a resident of the same State as the FFL when receiving the firearm.
There is a lot of technical legal speak in this post but it is fascinating how the government has spun such a tangled web of laws that may actually cancel out or contradict one another.