Secrets of FBI Smartphone Surveillance Tool Revealed in Court Fight

Via: Wired

By Kim Zetter
04.09.13

A legal fight over the government’s use of a secret surveillance tool has provided new insight into how the controversial tool works and the extent to which Verizon Wireless aided federal agents in using it to track a suspect.

Court documents in a case involving accused identity thief Daniel David Rigmaiden describe how the wireless provider reached out remotely to reprogram an air card the suspect was using in order to make it communicate with the government’s surveillance tool so that he could be located.

Rigmaiden, who is accused of being the ringleader of a $4 million tax fraud operation, asserts in court documents that in July 2008 Verizon surreptitiously reprogrammed his air card to make it respond to incoming voice calls from the FBI and also reconfigured it so that it would connect to a fake cell site, or stingray, that the FBI was using to track his location.

Read more: here

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Fusion Center Director: We Don’t Spy on Americans, Just Anti-Government Americans

Via: RT

Law enforcement intelligence-processing fusion centers have long come under attack for spying on Americans. The Arkansas director wanted to clarify the truth: centers only spies on some Americans – those who appear to be a threat to the government.

Published time: March 29, 201

In trying to clear up the ‘misconceptions’ about the conduct of fusion centers, Arkansas State Fusion Center Director Richard Davis simply confirmed Americans’ fears: the center does in fact spy on Americans – but only on those who are suspected to be ‘anti-government’.

“The misconceptions are that we are conducting spying operations on US citizens, which is of course not a fact. That is absolutely not what we do,” he told the NWA Homepage, which supports KNWA-TV and Fox 24.

After claiming that his office ‘absolutely’ does not spy on Americans, he proceeded to explain that this does not apply to those who could be interpreted as a ‘threat’ to national security. Davis said his office places its focus on international plots, “domestic terrorism and certain groups that are anti-government. We want to kind of take a look at that and receive that information.”

But the First Amendment allows for the freedom of speech and opinion, making it lawfully acceptable for Americans to express their grievances against the US government. The number of anti-government groups even hit a record high in 2012, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Many of these groups are ‘hate groups’ that express disdain for minorities. But unless they become violent, these groups are legally allowed to exist.

“We are seeing the fourth straight year of really explosive growth on the part of anti-government patriot groups and militias,” Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC, told Mother Jones. “That’s 913 percent in growth. We’ve never seen that kind of growth in any group we cover.”

 And with a record-high number of anti-government groups, fusion centers may be spying on more Americans than ever before – or at least, have the self-proclaimed right to do so.

“I do what I do because of what happened on 9/11,” Davis said. “There’s this urge and this feeling inside that you want to do something, and this is a perfect opportunity for me.”

But Davis’ argument is flawed: in order to determine whether or not someone is considered a threat to national security, fusion centers would first have to spy on Americans to weed out the suspected individuals, and then proceed to spy on the ‘anti-government’ individuals further.

Read more: here

Flawed hell. WTF!
He does what he does because a false flag exercise was operated against the American people?
And aren’t most people “anti-government” nowadays?
-Moose

Former Customs and Border Protection Officer Admits to Receiving Bribes to Allow Aliens to Enter the U.S. Illegally

Via: FBI

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 28, 2013
Southern District of California

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Hector Rodriguez, a former Customs and Border Protection officer, and Gerardo Rodriguez pleaded guilty today in front of Magistrate Judge David Bartick to conspiracy to bring in aliens for financial gain and to receive bribes, bringing in aliens for financial gain, and bribery.

According to court records, defendant Hector Rodriguez agreed that from around 2010 until his arrest on July 13, 2012, he received bribes from co-defendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Maria Guerrero, in the form of cash money, use of luxury vehicles, and use of an apartment, in return for failing to enforce U.S. immigration laws by admitting illegal aliens into the U.S. through his inspection lane at the San Ysidro Port-of-Entry.

Defendant Hector Rodriguez provided his lane assignment information to co-defendants who would then drive vehicles containing illegal aliens from Mexico to the United States through his assigned inspection lane.

On their date of arrest, July 13, 2012, co defendant Gerardo Rodriguez drove a vehicle containing eight illegal aliens, and co-defendant Vanessa Moya drove a vehicle containing six illegal aliens through defendant Hector Rodriguez’s inspection lane.

 To conceal the smuggling, defendant Hector Rodriguez would enter into the government database false information about who was driving the vehicle and the number of occupants, thereby concealing the fact that the vehicles contained illegal aliens.

As part of his guilty plea, Defendant Hector Rodriguez has agreed to forfeit a 2009 Jaguar, 12 luxury watches (including five Rolexes), jewelry, televisions, and computers that were obtained as a result of his criminal activity. Co-defendant Gerardo Rodriguez has agreed to forfeit a 2005 Mercedes, 2006 Harley Davidson, $60,000, televisions, and computers that were obtained as a result of his criminal activity.

The defendants are scheduled to appear for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez on July 1, 2013, at 9 a.m.

Read more: here

Customs and Border Protection sure is a good paying job….
Must have really done something stupid to have attracted the FBI…
-Moose

Manufacturing Terrorists

Via: Reason

How FBI sting operations make jihadists out of hapless malcontents

Michael German from the April 2013 issue

Imagine a country in which the government pays convicted con artists and criminals to scour minority religious communities for disgruntled, financially desperate, or mentally ill patsies who can be talked into joining fake terrorist plots, even if only for money. Imagine that the country’s government then busts its patsies with great fanfare to justify ever-increasing authority and ever-increasing funding. According to journalist Trevor Aaronson’s The Terror Factory, this isn’t the premise for a Kafka novel; it’s reality in the post-9/11 United States.

The Terror Factory is a well-researched and fast-paced exposé of the dubious tactics the FBI has used in targeting Muslim Americans with sting operations since 2001. The book updates and expands upon Aaronson’s award-winning 2011 Mother Jones cover story “The Informants.” Most readers likely have heard about several alleged conspiracies to attack skyscrapers, synagogues, or subway stations, involving either individuals whom the FBI calls “lone wolves” or small cells that a credulous press has tagged with such sinister appellations as the Newburgh 4 or the Liberty City 7. But they may be astonished to learn that many of these frightening plots were almost entirely concocted and engineered by the FBI itself, using corrupt agents provocateurs who often posed a far more serious criminal threat than the dimwitted saps the investigations ultimately netted.

Drawing on court records and interviews with the defendants, their lawyers, their families, and the FBI officials and prosecutors who oversaw the investigations, Aaronson portrays an agency that has adopted an “any means necessary” approach to its terrorism prevention efforts, regardless of whether real terrorists are being caught. To the FBI, this imperative justifies recruiting informants with extensive criminal records, including convictions for fraud, violent crimes, and even child molestation, that in an earlier era would have disqualified them except in the most extraordinary circumstances.

In addition to offering lenience, if not forgiveness, for heinous crimes, the FBI pays these informants tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, creating a perverse incentive for them to ensnare dupes into terrorist plots. Aaronson quotes an FBI official defending this practice: “To catch the devil you have to go to hell.”

Read more: here

We need to prosecute the crooks that are here, here, and here.
-Moose

FBI Undercover Agent Jack Garcia Recounts Bringing Down Gambino Capo Greg DePalma In "Making Jack Falcone"

Via: Friends of Ours

FBI Undercover Agent Jack Garcia Recounts Bringing Down Gambino Capo Greg DePalma In “Making Jack Falcone”

03/16/2013

Undercover agents are advised to incorporate a core part of their real personality into their criminal persona in order to keep the true self from getting irretrievably lost in the manufactured role. For Jack Garcia, the Cuban-born FBI agent who infiltrated the Gambino family in 2002 as Jack Falcone in a two-year investigation which resulted in the convictions of capo Greg DePalma and his Westchester County crew, the key piece of his authentic personality which he carried into the undercover work was his good heart.

Jack Garcia chronicled his many undercover experiences over a 26-year career with the Bureau in the 2009 memoir Making Jack Falcone which director Stephen Soderbergh is adapting into a movie starring Benicio Del Toro in the title role. Although Garcia descended as Falcone and other personas into a dark world of wise guys and drug dealers, dirty cops and crooked politicians, and weapons traffickers and currency counterfeiters, he never let go of his fundamental nature as a decent guy which not only kept his ego from fragmenting but also was an effective means in disarming the targets.

Read more: here

Telling the stories and keeping the legends alive about how good  the FBI is…
-Moose

FBI Secretly Requests Data on Thousands of Google Users Annually

Via: RT

March 06, 2013 19:33

Google has revealed receiving up to 999 national security letters a year asking for the private user data of thousands of people. The company said the FBI is authorized to make such requests without warrants or disclosure to users.

Internet giant Google has included stats on user data requests from FBI in its recent Transparency Report, saying it has received between zero and 999 letters a year since 2009 that have asked for private information of 1,000 – 2,999 users. The company explained its use of ranges instead of exact figures due to concerns of the FBI and the US Department of Justice that “releasing exact numbers might reveal information about investigations.”

National security letters (NSLs) compel Google to expose “name, address, length of service, and local and long distance toll billing records” of specified users. NSLs are said to be used only for conducting national security investigations by the US government.

Google’s FAQ assures the FBI is still not permitted to obtain user email content, search queries, YouTube videos or IP addresses. Representatives from Google have previously dismissed allegations of disclosing such data, publicly as well as in court.

The FBI is “not required to get court approval to issue an NSL,” the FAQ adds. In order to have the needed data granted, it is sufficient for the agency to enclose a document proving relevance to an “authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.” The FBI also has the power to prohibit disclosure of the fact that an NSL was received in the first place.

Read more: here

I feel so safe and secure now…
-Moose

Aaron Swartz Files Reveal How FBI Tracked Internet Activist

Via: The Guardian

Firedoglake blogger Daniel Wright publishes once-classified FBI documents that show extent of agency’s investigation into Swartz

Amanda Holpuch
Tuesday 19 February 2013 17.42 EST

A blogger has published once-classified FBI files that show how the agency tracked and collected information on internet activist Aaron Swartz.

Swartz, who killed himself in January aged 26, had previously requested his files and posted them on his blog, but some new documents and redactions are included in the files published by Firedoglake blogger Daniel Wright.

Wright was given 21 of 23 declassified documents, thanks to a rule that declassifies FBI files on the deceased. Wright said that he was told the other two pages of documents were not provided because of freedom of information subsections concerning privacy, “sources and methods,” and that can “put someone’s life in danger.”

The FBI’s files concern Swartz’s involvement in accessing the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (Pacer) documents. In pursuit of their investigation, the FBI had collected his personal information and was surveilling an Illinois address where he had his IP address registered.

Read more: here

Former Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud Campaign of More Than $750,000

Via: FBI

U.S. Attorney’s Office February 20, 2013

WASHINGTON—Former Congressman Jesse L. Jackson Jr., 47, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud his re-election campaigns of more than $750,000 in funds that were used to pay for a range of personal items and expenses, including jewelry, fur capes and parkas, high-end electronics, celebrity memorabilia, furniture, kitchen appliances, and a home renovation project.

Jackson, who has residences in Chicago and Washington, D.C., also admitted taking steps to conceal seven years of illegal activities, including the filing of false and misleading reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jackson’s wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, 49, a former Chicago alderman, pleaded guilty in a separate proceeding to filing false tax returns for her role in the scheme.

The guilty pleas, which took place this morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, were announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Richard Weber, Chief of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

Jesse Jackson, Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and false statements. The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins scheduled sentencing for June 28, 2013. The charge carries up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and other penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the parties have agreed that the applicable range for the offense is 46 to 57 months in prison and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000.

As part of the plea agreement, Jesse Jackson, Jr. will be required to pay any restitution ordered by the court and forfeit about $750,000 in proceeds and property from the scheme. Among other items, he must forfeit a mink cashmere cape; a mink reversible parka; a guitar signed by pop legend Michael Jackson; and various memorabilia associated with historic figures and various celebrities.

Read more: here 

Now why did they bust Jesse and Sandra? I mean really, was the crime not grandiose enough?
-Moose

Former Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud Campaign of More Than $750,000

Via: FBI

U.S. Attorney’s Office February 20, 2013

WASHINGTON—Former Congressman Jesse L. Jackson Jr., 47, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud his re-election campaigns of more than $750,000 in funds that were used to pay for a range of personal items and expenses, including jewelry, fur capes and parkas, high-end electronics, celebrity memorabilia, furniture, kitchen appliances, and a home renovation project.

Jackson, who has residences in Chicago and Washington, D.C., also admitted taking steps to conceal seven years of illegal activities, including the filing of false and misleading reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jackson’s wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, 49, a former Chicago alderman, pleaded guilty in a separate proceeding to filing false tax returns for her role in the scheme.

The guilty pleas, which took place this morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, were announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Richard Weber, Chief of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

Jesse Jackson, Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and false statements. The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins scheduled sentencing for June 28, 2013. The charge carries up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and other penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the parties have agreed that the applicable range for the offense is 46 to 57 months in prison and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000.

As part of the plea agreement, Jesse Jackson, Jr. will be required to pay any restitution ordered by the court and forfeit about $750,000 in proceeds and property from the scheme. Among other items, he must forfeit a mink cashmere cape; a mink reversible parka; a guitar signed by pop legend Michael Jackson; and various memorabilia associated with historic figures and various celebrities.

Read more: here 

Now why did they bust Jesse and Sandra? I mean really, was the crime not grandiose enough?
-Moose

Oakland, California: FBI Foils Another Fake Terror Plot

Via: World Socialist Web Site

By Karl Eisner
20 February 2013

On February 8, federal authorities arrested a San Jose man for attempting to set off a car bomb outside a bank in Oakland, California. The charges filed against Matthew Llaneza, 28, stem from a months-long operation staged by the FBI’s South Bay Joint Terrorism Task Force. The event is the latest in a long series of bogus terror plots hatched or otherwise encouraged by the federal government.

According to the sparse criminal complaint submitted 10 days ago, the government’s involvement with the Arizona native—a recent Muslim convert—dates back to November of last year, when undercover FBI agent Christopher Monika met with and convinced Llaneza that he was “connected with the Taliban and the mujahedin in Afghanistan.”

How or why Llaneza first became a target of the FBI goes unmentioned in the official narrative, but over the next several months Monika and Llaneza allegedly met several times to organize the bombing of an Oakland Bank of America branch—supposedly chosen because “the name of the bank and Oakland’s location as a center of protests made it an appropriate target.” The operation came to an end on February 8, when Llaneza tried to detonate an inoperable car bomb and was promptly arrested.

At no point did the plot pose a “threat to the public,” notes a press release from the US attorney’s office. Like a number of high-profile, supposed terror operations foiled by the US government over the past decade, every stage of the sham conspiracy had been created and carefully managed by the FBI. Virtually all of the key elements in the plot were in fact supplied by the federal government: a rented storage unit in Hayward, an SUV to deliver the would-be car bomb, the fake explosives and the expertise needed to assemble them.

Read more: here

FBI Celebrates Duping Another Mentally Ill Man Into Fake Terror Plot

Via: ICH

By Alex Newman

February 15, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – Following a series of similar widely ridiculed so-called “sting” operations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced last week that it had foiled yet another “terror plot” that, like virtually every supposed “terrorist” case in recent years, was created and managed from start to finish by the FBI itself. This time, the dupe was a 28-year-old California man, Matthew Aaron Llaneza, with a documented history of mental illness, who apparently believed his government handlers were helping him wage “jihad.” Critics, however, say the whole scheme smacks of entrapment and a waste of taxpayer money.

Llaneza was arrested by federal agents on February 7 in Oakland after he supposedly tried to blow up a bogus bomb the FBI helped him create. According to authorities, the mentally ill San Jose suspect planned to detonate the fake explosives outside a Bank of America branch. The alleged plan, officials said, was to start a “civil war” by making it appear as if the attack had been carried out by “anti-government militias,” sparking a crackdown by the government on right-of-center dissidents.

“Unbeknownst to Llaneza, the explosive device that he allegedly attempted to use had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public,” the FBI admitted in a press release celebrating the arrest of its mentally unstable stooge. The man was charged in a criminal complaint with “attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.” If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Read more: here

FBI Celebrates Duping Another Mentally Ill Man Into Fake Terror Plot

Via: ICH

By Alex Newman

February 15, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – Following a series of similar widely ridiculed so-called “sting” operations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced last week that it had foiled yet another “terror plot” that, like virtually every supposed “terrorist” case in recent years, was created and managed from start to finish by the FBI itself. This time, the dupe was a 28-year-old California man, Matthew Aaron Llaneza, with a documented history of mental illness, who apparently believed his government handlers were helping him wage “jihad.” Critics, however, say the whole scheme smacks of entrapment and a waste of taxpayer money.

Llaneza was arrested by federal agents on February 7 in Oakland after he supposedly tried to blow up a bogus bomb the FBI helped him create. According to authorities, the mentally ill San Jose suspect planned to detonate the fake explosives outside a Bank of America branch. The alleged plan, officials said, was to start a “civil war” by making it appear as if the attack had been carried out by “anti-government militias,” sparking a crackdown by the government on right-of-center dissidents.

“Unbeknownst to Llaneza, the explosive device that he allegedly attempted to use had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public,” the FBI admitted in a press release celebrating the arrest of its mentally unstable stooge. The man was charged in a criminal complaint with “attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.” If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Read more: here

Read the FBI Memo: Agents Can ‘Suspend the Law’

Via: Wired.com

By Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman 03.28.12

The FBI once taught its agents that they can “bend or suspend the law” as they wiretap suspects. But the bureau says it didn’t really mean it, and has now removed the document from its counterterrorism training curriculum, calling it an “imprecise” instruction. Which is a good thing, national security attorneys say, because the FBI’s contention that it can twist the law in pursuit of suspected terrorists is just wrong.

“Dismissing this statement as ‘imprecise’ is a rather unsatisfying response given the very precise lines Congress and the courts have repeatedly drawn between what is and is not permissible, even in counterterrorism cases, over the past decade,” Steve Vladeck, a national-security law professor at American University, says. “It might technically be true that the FBI has certain authorities when conducting counterterrorism investigations that the Constitution otherwise forbids, but that’s good only so far as it goes.”

Read more: here

Read the FBI Memo: Agents Can ‘Suspend the Law’

Via: Wired.com

By Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman 03.28.12

The FBI once taught its agents that they can “bend or suspend the law” as they wiretap suspects. But the bureau says it didn’t really mean it, and has now removed the document from its counterterrorism training curriculum, calling it an “imprecise” instruction. Which is a good thing, national security attorneys say, because the FBI’s contention that it can twist the law in pursuit of suspected terrorists is just wrong.

“Dismissing this statement as ‘imprecise’ is a rather unsatisfying response given the very precise lines Congress and the courts have repeatedly drawn between what is and is not permissible, even in counterterrorism cases, over the past decade,” Steve Vladeck, a national-security law professor at American University, says. “It might technically be true that the FBI has certain authorities when conducting counterterrorism investigations that the Constitution otherwise forbids, but that’s good only so far as it goes.”

Read more: here