‘Top FBI officials are working to convince an indistinct regulatory entity in the nation’s capital to allow the agency to alter its rules of engagement in a naked bid to seize more authority to breach computers and put them under electronic surveillance both in the U.S. and around the world.
As reported by The Guardian, one of Britain’s top investigative papers, civil liberties groups are already sounding alarm bells, warning that the proposed rule changes would amount “to a power grab by the agency that would ride roughshod over strict limits to searches and seizures laid out under the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.” They also worry that the rule changes would lead to invasions of privacy.’
‘The graphic contents of an anonymous letter in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation called Martin Luther King a “filthy abnormal animal” have been made public for the first time.
Written in 1964 by a deputy of the feared FBI chief J Edgar Hoover posing as a disillusioned civil rights activist, the typewritten note appears to have been a heavy-handed attempt to blackmail King into taking his own life.
Already a notorious footnote in American history, the “suicide letter” was heavily censored when it was first published, with most of its more outrageous language remaining secret.’
‘Critics of the tactic say it is just another reason for Americans not to trust mainstream media websites after learning that the FBI has recently used an underhanded tactic to nab a suspect.
According to The Seattle Times, Federal Bureau of Investigation techies and agents set up a phony Times website-based news story in order to arrest a bomb threat suspect. The site reports:
The FBI in Seattle created a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times web page to plant software in the computer of a suspect in a series of bomb threats to Lacey’s Timberline High School in 2007, according to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in San Francisco.’
‘Last month, Zale Thompson attacked a New York Police Department officer with a hatchet before being killed by police. Law enforcement officials said Thompson, 32, was a “self-radicalized” Muslim inspired by overseas extremist groups.
The hatchet attack renewed dormant but always lurking fears about terrorism in the U.S. The rise of the Islamic State, the extremist outfit also known as ISIS that has taken over territory in war-torn Iraq and Syria, has fueled those fears. In response to the alleged threat from the Islamic State, law enforcement officials have increased efforts to block Americans from joining the group in Syria.’
‘Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation tactics. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment schemes.
These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian regime from the Roman Empire to modern-day America, yet it’s the secret police – tasked with silencing dissidents, ensuring compliance, and maintaining a climate of fear – who sound the death knell for freedom in every age.
Every regime has its own name for its secret police: Mussolini’s OVRA carried out phone surveillance on government officials. Stalin’s NKVD carried out large-scale purges, terror and depopulation. Hitler’s Gestapo went door to door ferreting out dissidents and other political “enemies” of the state. And in the U.S., it’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation that does the dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.’
‘The United States spent nearly $136 billion in the fiscal years of 2013 and 2014 on intelligence gathering, according to government figures.
According to figures released by the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) (ODNI) and the Department of Defense, the United States Intelligence Community, a federation of 17 government spy agencies, gobbled up some $80 billion in 2011.
The figures show that the Central Intelligence Agency had consumed most of the money out of $68 billion approved by Congress in the fiscal year of 2014 that ended in September.’
‘FBI Director James Comey continues to bang the drum about the evils of smartphone encryption and the harm it will do to U.S. law enforcement efforts. Fortunately, few people are persuaded, possibly because Comey himself seems of two minds — and baffled by technology to boot.’