Judge Intervenes After FBI Stonewalls Documentary Film Maker

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By Britain Eakin for Mint Press News – WASHINGTON – A federal judge hastened completion of a documentary decades in the making about the FBI’s role in the Vietnam anti-war movement Thursday by ordering the agency to churn out nearly 3,000 pages of documents a month. According to an internal policy, the FBI was only releasing requested records in chunks of 500 at a time to Nina Gilden Seavey, a filmmaker and professor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. At that rate, it would have taken nearly 17 years for the agency to hand over all 102,385 documents it says it found in response to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests she started filing in 2013. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler’s ruling issued Thursday called the FBI’s policy “untenable.” For Seavey, the prospect of waiting nearly two decades for the information needed to complete her film was daunting. “I’m 60 years old,” Seavey said in a phone interview. “I mean, let’s be real,” she added, trailing off with laughter. Seavey had asked the FBI for information on “individuals, organizations, events, publications, and file numbers” relating to the agency’s involvement in the anti-war movement, looking particularly at St. Louis in the 1960s and 1970s.

FBI Arrests NSA Contractor Who Leaked Top Secret “Russian Hacking” Document To The Intercept

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By Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge – Earlier this afternoon, the Intercept reported that according to a “top secret NSA document”, Russian Military Intelligence “executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials days before election.” The NSA document, reportedly dated May 5, analyzes recently acquired intelligence about “a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure.” The document notes that investigation only began in the last few months. The document claims the investigation was spurred by “information that became available in April 2017.” According to the Intercept, the report is “the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light. It is said to reveal that that Russian hacking may have penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than was previously understood” and “states unequivocally in its summary statement that it was Russian military intelligence, specifically the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, that conducted the cyber attacks described in the document.”

FBI Used Patriot Act To Obtain 'Large Collections' Of Americans' Data, DoJ Finds

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By Spencer Ackerman for The Guardian – As lawmakers and security agencies braced for a potential loss of the heart of the Patriot Act, a long-delayed Justice Department report showed that the FBI uses the surveillance authorities it provides for “large collections” of Americans’ internet records. Section 215 of the Patriot Act permits the FBI to collect business records, such as medical, educational and tax information or other “tangible things” relevant to an ongoing counter–terrorism or espionage investigation. Since 2006, the NSA had also secretly used it to collect US phone data in bulk. After Edward Snowden’s leaks allowed the Guardian to reveal the phone-records bulk collection in June 2013, deep political opposition coalesced around the bulk program – eclipsing the FBI’s acquisition of other data, which has long been an issue only for civil libertarians. But a Justice Department inspector general’s report finally released on Thursday covering the FBI’s use of Section 215 from 2007 to 2009 found that the bureau is using the business-records authority “to obtain large collections of metadata”, such as “electronic communication transactional information”.

The Only Reason Julian Assange Is Not ‘Apprehended Yet’ Is He’s Out Of Reach

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By Jon Queally for Truth Dig – In his remarks Wednesday, Comey argued that WikiLeaks—“an important focus of [the FBI’s] attention”—does not practice journalism like other “responsible” outlets, but instead acts as a “known outlet of foreign propaganda” that has harmed U.S. interests. Last month, Common Dreams reported on rumblings within President Donald Trump’s Justice Department that criminal charges were being prepared. Despite the fact that major news outlets from around the world have consistently relied on the information provided by WikiLeaks over the years, Comey on Wednesday repeatedly described WikiLeaks as “intelligence porn” that serves no journalistic purpose. “A huge portion of WikiLeaks has nothing to do with legitimate news-gathering and is simply about releasing classified information to damage the United States,” Comey said. “American journalists do not do that.” Journalist Glenn Greenwald was among those immediately pushing back against such arguments…

FBI Has Already Gathered Millions Of 'Faceprints' for Facial Recognition

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By Derrick Broze for Activist Post. A House Committee questioned Kimberly Del Greco, Deputy Assistant Director at the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, about why the bureau broke the law by failing to file a privacy impact statement acknowledging the collection of millions of Americans’ faces for the agency’s new biometric identification system. The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system is made up of fingerprints, iris scans, faceprints, and other facial recognition data. The NGI organizes Americans’ biometric data into a single file that includes personal and biographic data like name, home address, ID number, immigration status, age, race, etc. The Committee reports that nearly half of all adult Americans’ photographs are in the database. The 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimated that there are over 242 million adults living in the U.S. If the Committee’s numbers are correct, over 121 million adults are in the FBI’s database. Other revelations include that 18 states have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the FBI to share photos with the federal government, including from state departments of motor vehicles (DMV).

FBI And NSA Chiefs Forced To Fact-Check Boss As Trump Live-Tweets Hearing

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By Jon Queally for Common Dreams – ‘Either the White House is spreading falsehoods about this hearing on its Twitter account or the FBI director just perjured himself on TV,’ remarks one journalist. President Donald Trump (or possibly an authorized staff member) took the unusual step on Monday of commenting in real-time during a congressional hearing as he dishonestly spun and mischaracterized the testimony of top level officials in his own administration as they answered questions under oath from members of the House Intelligence Committee. Whereas international attention was drawn to the high-profile testimony of FBI director James Comey and NSA director Michael Rogers on alleged Russian interference in last year’s election…

Trump Cites Fake FBI Terror Plots To Justify Muslim Ban

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by Chip Gibbons for BORDC – On Monday March 6, 2017, the Trump Administration announced its second attempt at a Muslim Ban. While it is impossible to justify a ban that is fundamentally rooted in animus towards Muslims, Trump tried to rectify his previous executive order’s most glaring problems. For example, the new ban will not apply to legal permanent residents or people who currently hold valid visas. The constitutional issues are much deeper than that. Ruling against the first ban, federal courts failed to find a rational relationship between barring the entry of individuals from the countries listed and a national security purpose.

Revealed: FBI Terrorism Taskforce Investigating Standing Rock Activists

A permit has been granted for the oil pipeline to cross the Missouri river, following Donald Trump’s executive order. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images

By Sam Levin for The Guardian – The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists. The Guardian has established that multiple officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock “water protector” movement in North Dakota. The purpose of the officers’ inquiries into Standing Rock, and scope of the task force’s work, remains unknown. Agency officials declined to comment.

Newsletter: The Immense Power We Must Confront

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Fifty-six years ago on January 17, 1961 President Eisenhower warned “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.” JFK with Jackie Kennedy and Governor Connolly just before he was assassinatedThis was followed by the assassination of JFK, which now has been exposed as involving members of the military and intelligence agencies; the massive Vietnam War, constant regime change operations, the growth of the US military and intelligence budgets and never-ending wars since 9/11. The military and intelligence agencies have grown tremendously.

Trump Dossier Should Be Treated Skeptically But Taken Seriously

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By Jim Naureckas for FAIR. But as the document circulated behind the scenes, a funny thing happened: People in governmental positions seemed to be taking it seriously. Senators Harry Reid (D.–Nevada) and John McCain (R.–Ariz.) both pushed the FBI to investigate the report’s charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence—Reid before Trump’s election, McCain afterwards. In October 2016, the FBI obtained a warrant from the secret FISA court authorizing an investigation into charges contained in the report. And in January 2017, Trump, President Obama and congressional leaders were given a summary of the report’s charges, which Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said was done in order to “ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.”

Open Letter: We Refuse To Be Enemies

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By Omar Scott Antar. We Refuse To Be Enemies is a coalition of Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Connecticut, committed to peace and justice, and particularly focused on the Middle East. The NYPD-CIA, in their highly politicized, discriminatory, and illegal operations, target not only Muslims, but also left-wing activists. Because Ivanka M. Trump, daughter and advisor of President-elect Donald J. Trump, is on board of the NYC Police Foundation (page 124 of 128), the NYPD’s slush fund, which finances the NYPD-CIA’s International Liaison Programs (ILPs), it is little wonder Trump approves of and extols the NYPD-CIA and its abusive former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Donald Trump also calls for explicit profiling of Muslims, approvingly citing the NYPD-CIA programs and less free foreign countries, such as France and Israel.

FBI Dumps 18 Hours Of Spy Plane Footage On Black Lives Matter Protests

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By Staff for Motherboard Vice. It’s been just over a year since amateur aviation sleuths first revealed the FBI’s secret aerial surveillance of the civil unrest in Baltimore, Maryland. Now, in response to a FOIA request from the ACLU, the Bureau has released more than 18 hours of aerial footage from the Baltimore protests captured by their once-secret spy planes, which regularly fly in circles above major cities and are commonly registered to fake companies. The cache is likely the most comprehensive collection of aerial surveillance footage ever released by a US law enforcement agency. The videos, which the FBI claims are its “complete” recordings of the Baltimore unrest, cover the period of April 29 through May 3, 2015, when protests and riots erupted following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody under suspicious circumstances. Last month, prosecutors dropped all remaining charges in the case, concluding with no convictions for any of the police officers involved in the incident. The footage shows the crowds of protesters captured in a combination of visible light and infrared spectrum video taken by the planes’ wing-mounted FLIR Talon cameras.

Documents Reveal FBI Monitored Holocaust Survivor Hedy Epstein’s Activism

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By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet – The FBI just released its files on the Holocaust survivor and intrepid human rights activist Hedy Epstein, revealing that the agency was monitoring her activism to support the human rights of Palestinians. The files on Epstein, who died in May at the age of 91, were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the writer and researcher Waqas Mirza. One heavily-redacted document, dated January 15, 2006, reveals that Epstein fell under surveillance due to her participation in a “delegation from St. Louis” that “traveled to Israel with [the International Solidarity movement] in the winter of 2003.”

How James Baldwin Trolled The FBI

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By JPat Brown for Muckrock – James Baldwin’s unflinching critique of racial unrest in America – and the government’s role in perpetuating it – earned him a spot on several FBI watchlists and Bureau surveillance of his every move. However, Baldwin’s files show that on at least one occasion he was able to turn that scrutiny to his advantage. In July of 1964, the FBI got ahold of a document which contained incontrovertible evidence of a plot against them – the latest issue of Playbill.

FBI Greenlights Crackdown On Black Lives Matter Protesters

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By Mara Verheyden-Hilliard for AlterNet – The violent events of the past week have placed the country at a decisive moment. Words matter but deeds matter more. Leadership matters. President Obama spoke about the need for real change and new “practices” following the murders by police officers of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. He followed that by stating last weekend, “One of the great things about America is that individual citizens and groups of citizens can petition their government, can protest, can speak truth to power.