Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

Hillary Clinton being “extremely careless” passes the test for criminal “gross negligence”

July 6, 2016

This is the Director of the FBI about a Secretary of State

Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

By any standard of exercise of professional competence this is tantamount to a description of gross negligence.

The Legal Dictionary: Gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both. It is conduct that is extreme when compared with ordinary Negligence, which is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care. Ordinary negligence and gross negligence differ in degree of inattention, while both differ from willful and wanton conduct, which is conduct that is reasonably considered to cause injury. 

Clinton Free Pass

That Hillary Clinton gets away with gross negligence can only confirm for those of the anti-establishment persuasion that the system is rigged and plays right into Donald Trump’s narrative. In this case receiving no formal censure can actually be worse for Hillary Clinton than being formally charged with some relatively trivial misdemeanour.

As always with a case amounting to gross negligence – in any field – it is a matter of incompetence.

Andrew Mccarthy writes in the National Review:

There is no way of getting around this:

According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust. Director Comey even conceded that former Secretary Clinton was “extremely careless” and strongly suggested that her recklessness very likely led to communications (her own and those she corresponded with) being intercepted by foreign intelligence services. Yet, Director Comey recommended against prosecution of the law violations he clearly found on the ground that there was no intent to harm the United States.

In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.

There are two take-aways here:

  1. Hillary Clinton has been given a “free pass” by the establishment for a clear case of a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18), and
  2. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton displayed incompetence.

 

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That iPhone the FBI (Israelis) cracked – “contains nothing of significance”

April 15, 2016

Much ado …. full of sound and fury … signifying nothing.

So, Syed Farook’s iPhone that Apple refused to unlock, which the FBI took Apple to court for, which was finally cracked by an Israeli company working for the FBI, contained nothing of any significance. Still, I suppose the FBI and Apple (and the Israeli security company Cellebrite) have all had their time strutting and fretting on the stage, and all publicity is good publicity.

But the FBI come out of this looking petty and silly.

CBS News: 

A law enforcement source tells CBS News that so far nothing of real significance has been found on the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone, which was unlocked by the FBI last month without the help of Apple.

It was stressed that the FBI continues to analyze the information on the cellphone seized in the investigation, senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports. Investigators spent months trying to gain access to data on the locked iPhone used by San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook, believing that it might hold information on the plans or contacts of the attackers, who killed 14 people on December 2, 2015.

Apple was fighting a court order to assist the FBI in bypassing the phone’s security measures. On March 28, the FBI announced that it had managed to unlock the phone and was dropping the court fight with Apple.

The FBI has not disclosed what method it used to access the data on the iPhone but the method is believed to have been developed by a third party, a private entity, the government has refused to identify.

FBI Director James Comey said last week that the bureau has not decided whether to share details with Apple about how it hacked into Farook’s iPhone 5c. “If we tell Apple, they’re going to fix it and we’re back where we started,” Comey said. “As silly as it may sound, we may end up there. We just haven’t decided yet.”

As The Register points out the FBI were more interested in attacking Apple and actually did not expect to find anything. They probably always knew that Cellebrite could get into the phone but dinät reveal that to support their position in court:

The news will not come as much of a surprise to anyone who has followed the case: the phone in question was one of three used by Farook. It was his work phone and was owned by his employer, the health department.

His two personal phones were found by investigators, crushed and dumped in a trash can at his house. Since Farook had clearly gone to some trouble to destroy any digital evidence (he also smashed up hard drives and other digital media), the fact that the iPhone in question was recovered intact made it highly unlikely that it held anything of real value.

Regardless, the FBI used the existence of the phone and the shocking nature of the crime to wage a public war with Apple over encryption and access to electronic goods. Having mistakenly caused the phone’s cloud storage to be reset (some doubt it was a mistake), the FBI applied through the courts to force Apple to develop a way for it to pull all the information of the phone.

The court served an injunction but Apple refuse to honor it, claiming that the request effectively obliged it to break its own product’s security and would have implications far beyond the single phone.

Following a very public spat in which Apple refused to back down, and voices in Washington starting to criticize the FBI for trying to seek a legal precedent rather than solve a crime, the day before a legal hearing on the matter, the FBI suddenly announced it had found a third party that was able to grant it access to the phone’s data.


 

FBI gets it wrong about N Korea and the Sony hack – deliberately?

December 19, 2014

I was listening to Sean Sullivan of F Secure on BBC radio today and I find his arguments that the FBI has got it wrong quite convincing. The FBI, it would seem, has less evidence of a N Korea connection than the US intelligence services ever had of WMD in Iraq! But they have now stated categorically that it was N Korea and the perpetrators would be hunted down. Unless of course Obama is looking to initiate his own war in his own name while he is still in office. In which case the FBI could have been tasked with getting the evidence to prove the desired conclusion. A simple act of extortion was followed by reference to the movie only after the Press brought it up. 

Industry experts have more credibility for me than the FBI in this case.

Kim hacking

 YahooNews:

Many computer-security experts doubt the validity of the claim that North Korea is behind the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, citing a lack of strong evidence and the possibility of alternate scenarios.

“There’s no direct, hard evidence that implicates North Korea,” Sean Sullivan, a security researcher at Finnish security firm F-Secure, told Tom’s Guide. “There is evidence of extortion (the Nov. 21 email [to Sony executives which demanded money]) and the hackers only mentioned [the movie] The Interview after it was brought up in the press, which they then used to their advantage.”

“Is North Korea responsible for the Sony breach?” wrote Jeffrey Carr, founder and CEO of Seattle cybersecurity consulting firm Taia Global. “I can’t imagine a more unlikely.

Others also find the FBI evidence very flimsy. It seems that the N Korea narrative is essentially led by the media rather than by the evidence:

 Wired: ….. Despite all of this, media outlets won’t let the North Korea narrative go and don’t seem to want to consider other options. If there’s anything years of Law and Order reruns should tell us, it’s that focusing on a single suspect can lead to exclusionary bias where clues that contradict the favored theory get ignored.

Initial and hasty media reports about the attackers pointed to cyberwarriors from North Korea, bent on seeking revenge for the Sony movie The Interview. This was based on a complaint North Korea made to the United Nations last July about the Seth Rogen and James Franco flick, which was originally slated to be released in October before being changed to Christmas Day. 

But in their initial public statement, whoever hacked Sony made no mention of North Korea or the film. And in an email sent to Sony by the hackers, found in documents they leaked, there is also no mention of North Korea or the film. The email was sent to Sony executives on Nov. 21, a few days before the hack went public. Addressed to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, Chairwoman Amy Pascal and other executives, it appears to be an attempt at extortion, not an expression of political outrage or a threat of war.

“[M]onetary compensation we want,” the email read. “Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole. You know us very well. We never wait long. You’d better behave wisely.”

To make matters confusing, however, the email wasn’t signed by GOP or Guardians of Peace, who have taken credit for the hack, but by “God’sApstls,” a reference that also appeared in one of the malicious files used in the Sony hack.

I note that John McCain has declared that this is an Act of War by N Korea. A bi-partisan approach to attack N Korea could be forged. He is already calling for the US to conduct a cyber attack on N Korea (which has the lowest internet usage of any country). When the cyberwar fails, the logical next step would be to bomb Pyongyang and then mount a US-led, coalition invasion from Okinawa. George Clooney and Angelina Jolie could organise a petition from Hollywood supporting such action. All of Hollywood would surely support such decisive action. The coalition could consist of Japan and S Korea at least. Maybe Cuba could be persuaded to join. Sony could have cameras embedded in every military unit.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert could make sure that the liberal population of the US could – for once – support the national pastime of going to war. James Franco and Seth Rogen clearly need special positions; perhaps they could orchestrate the invasion.

I see that the UN General Assembly has already passed a motion for the North Koreans to be referred to the International Criminal Court. The next step would be for the US to call for a special sitting of the Security Council. They could make a PowerPoint show a la Colin Powell, to show the world the evidence they have manufactured, and to get a suitable war resolution passed.

The entire N Korea narrative is probably nothing more than a media inspired narrative.

 


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