Anonymous hackers breaching government computers

Activist hackers linked to the collective known as Anonymous have secretly accessed U.S. government computers in multiple agencies and stolen sensitive information in a campaign that began almost a year ago, the FBI warned this week. The hackers exploited a flaw in Adobe Systems Inc’s software to launch a rash of electronic break-ins that began last December, then left “back doors” to return to many of the machines as recently as last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a memo seen by Reuters. The memo, distributed on Thursday, described the attacks as “a widespread problem that should be
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More airborne terror ahead?

The nature of terrorism has changed in Robert Mueller‘s dozen years as FBI director, but his concerns for the future are much the same as when terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001, merely a week after he’d taken over the bureau. As he wraps up his FBI tenure, Mueller worries that terrorists will once again target planes or finally pull off an attack using a weapon of mass destruction. Mueller sees terrorism as a shifting landscape, evolving from Osama bin Laden‘s global brand in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks to the splintering threats arising in the fallout from
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IRS manual revealed how to doctor facts

Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigative trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years. The practice of recreating the investigative trail, highly criticized by former prosecutors and defense lawyers after Reuters reported it this week, is now under review by the Justice Department. Two high-profile Republicans have also raised questions about the procedure. A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manual instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied
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Criminal charges filed in Benghazi attack

The Justice Department has filed the first criminal charges in the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, two U.S. officials said Tuesday. The officials confirmed that a sealed complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington against an unspecified number of individuals in the September 2012 attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. One official said those charged included Ahmed Abu Khattala, the head of a Libyan militia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss a sealed filing. The New York Times reported late Tuesday
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FBI rescues 105 children

Declaring child prostitution a “persistent threat” in America, the FBI said Monday that authorities had rescued 105 young people and arrested 150 alleged pimps in a three-day sweep in 76 cities. The agency said it had been monitoring Backpage.com and other websites as a prominent online marketplace for sex for sale. Backpage.com said that it was “very, very pleased” by the raids and that if the website were shut down to the advertisements, the ads would be pushed to sites that wouldn’t cooperate with law enforcement. The young people in the roundup, almost all of them girls, ranged in age
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Federal oversight board hears testimony on NSA spying on Americans

The federal oversight board directed by President Barack Obama to scrutinize the government’s secret surveillance system is hearing from civil liberties activists, a retired federal judge and a former Bush administration lawyer in the board’s first public event since the spying operations were revealed in news reports. They were among 16 experts set to testify Tuesday before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board about the National Security Agency’s surveillance. The board’s five members include an Internet freedom advocate and two former Bush lawyers who helped expand the government’s national security authority. After former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden began
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Intel officials claim NSA spying on Americans revealed terrorist plots

Top U.S. intelligence officials said Saturday that information gleaned from two controversial data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries — and that gathered data is destroyed every five years. Last year, fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the database of millions of U.S. phone records gathered daily by the NSA in one of the programs, the intelligence officials said in arguing that the programs are far less sweeping than their detractors allege. No other new details about the plots or the countries involved were
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Government says 300 phone numbers ‘closely investigated’ in spy program

The U.S. government only searched for detailed information on calls involving fewer than 300 specific phone numbers among the millions of raw phone records collected by the National Security Agency in 2012, according to a government paper obtained by Reuters on Saturday. The unclassified paper was circulated Saturday within the government by U.S. intelligence agencies and apparently is an attempt by spy agencies and the Obama administration to rebut accusations that it overreached in investigating potential militant plots. The administration has said that even though the NSA, according to top-secret documents made public by former agency contractor Edward Snowden, collects
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The American government: It is, therefore it spies on everyone

For many Americans, probably most, it came as no shock that Uncle Sam spys on his citizens 24/7. We’ve been writing about the constant surveillance for a long time here at Capitol Hill Blue.  Intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens became the order of the day under the despotic leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by J. Edgar Hoover. It got worse under Presidents like Richard Nixon when keeping an enemies list became standard operating procedure for those in power. But spying became even more prominent after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and passage of the rights-robbing USA
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IRS targeting of tea party under criminal investigation

The Justice Department is opening a criminal investigation of the Internal Revenue Service just as another probe concludes that lax management enabled agents to improperly target tea party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax exempt status. Attorney General Eric Holder said he ordered the FBI to investigate Friday — the day the IRS publicly acknowledged that it had singled out conservative groups. Holder says the IRS actions were “outrageous and unacceptable.” Holder says now his agency must determine if there were criminal violations. Holder is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee. ___ Copyright  ©
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