Category Archives: FBI Rapes Phones

Wild Turkey

“We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it.”

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan (below).

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! December 8: Pentagon Audit

The Pentagon wrapped its first-ever audit and the results were apparently so humiliating they were not released.

Defense News does note the year-long endeavor consumed $413 million […] [another] $406 million was spend [sic] on addressing issues found by the department, with another $153 million on “financial system fixes,” per a DoD factsheet — a total […] of $972 million.

While shoveling Federal Reserve-weakened cash toward improving the system is an honorable step, we won’t hold our breath for any legitimate proposals to more efficiently administer what Reuters characterizes–in perhaps the rosiest pro-big Government euphemism of the year–numerous military bases of various sizes at home and abroad and troops deployed in far-flung locales.

Meanwhile, the Federal Deficit packed on an additional 17% in preparation for holiday hedonism. Fiscal year 2018 saw a $779 billion shortfall, and, to their credit, CNN admitted the gap could not be blamed on the recent Republican tax cut, which was more than offset by increased revenues from individual and self-employment taxes.

[Why tax cuts are so maligned when they apparently lead to more tax revenue, we’ll never understand.]

Rather, [s]pending rose 3% over the previous year, fueled in part by increases to the defense budget agreed upon in September 2017 as part of a deal between Republicans and Democrats to head off a government shutdown. Social Security and interest on the federal debt also contributed to the increase.

[our emphasis]

Related:

FEMA Withdraws Aid Withdrawal Amid Backlash, Raises Stakes with Seedy Power Provider and Drops the Ball on Puerto Rican Food Delivery; Congress Shits on Taxpayers Again; Your Location and Face Broadcast to More Federal Agencies

When your national debt is a record $21,000,000,000,000-plus, and even ultra-left wing NPR cautions merely covering the interest on that monstrosity will outstrip defense spending in a few years, the obvious solution is to spend more on defense. It’s all about winning.

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Another example of winning: the lame-duck GOP majority snuffed out a bipartisan effort to end our unconstitutional Yemen carnage with a 201-187 procedural ploy.

This greased the wheels for the Manage Our Wolves Act, whose passage will reportedly strip “endangered species” status from American gray wolves. And, according to The Intercept, incidentally block a floor vote on whether to direct President Donald Trump to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi- and UAE-led intervention in Yemen.

A September resolution by Ro Khanna (D-CA) mandating the end of America’s unconstitutional interference in the conflict had the standing for a floor vote without the blessing of the Establishment-controlled Rules Committee under the War Powers Act. Not anymore.

Even the Humane Society of the United States implored Congress for mercy towards the ferocious mammals. And, perhaps unbeknownst to them, the shell-shocked, cholera-stricken Yemeni, with whom we are not at war.

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! January 29: Two Americans Killed

Just twelve Republicans, including Justin Amash (R-MI), had the stones to oppose the final bill (although a combined 54 members chose not to show up), which passed by a mere 16 votes.

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Trump’s election year fear mongering over the migrant caravan got a little-noticed boost from the “law and order” angle when NBC revealed the DHS has infiltrated the estimated 4,000 Central American asylum seekers by paying moles to monitor their progress. Namely, the new Federal employees are tapping the WhatsApp communication of the refugees.

Trump, according to CNN, deployed 6,000 American troops to the border just prior to his party’s somewhat muted shellacking in the midterms, because you need 1.5 heavily-armed Americans to safely deny each starving homeless Honduran access to the country. Or for a more nefarious purpose:

“If [the troops] have to, they’re going to use lethal force. I’ve given the OK,” Trump said. “If they have to — I hope they don’t have to[…] I have no choice[;] [y]ou’re dealing with a minimum of 500 serious criminals[,] rough people.”

[our emphasis]

Defense’s top dog James Mattis had other ideas: “[T]here has been no call for any lethal force[.]”  CNN has him on record that any troops backing up customs personnel would not be carrying firearms but could be equipped with shields and batons.

Trump fired back: “[If]our people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control […] [t]he whole border. I mean the whole border.”

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Forbes reported the Federal Government is successfully prying innocent Americans’ locations from technology companies via warrants demanding details on anyone essentially using a phone within a certain radius of the coordinates of alleged crimes.

Those users could be Android phone owners, anyone running Google Maps or any individual running Google services on their cell [phone].

[…]

Captain John Sherwin of the Rochester Police Department in Minnesota said it wasn’t just Google that could furnish cops with a startling mount [sic] of detailed location data. Facebook and Snapchat [had also] proven useful.

[our emphasis]

Fortunately, the ham-handed FBI might have struck out in this instance, which featured a location sweep for the time frames surrounding five (5) armed robberies of the same Hernico, VA Dollar Tree earlier this year (four at the store, one of their manager at the local bank deposit box):

[F]or unknown reasons, no records were returned. Forbes couldn’t find any charges against individuals named as suspects in the document. Forbes also contacted the prosecutor who signed off on the search warrant, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

[our emphasis]

*

Not to be outdone, Facebook is weathering scrutiny for siccing right wing researchers Definers Public Affairs on those who would bring the social decay giant scrutiny: with intent to smear [Facebook]’s critics by linking them to the billionaire liberal donor George Soros.

The Hill notes Facebook has seen more than a quarter of its value wiped out this year amid data privacy issues, strict regulations in Europe, the threat of regulations in the U.S. and stagnant user growth.

[…]

Fifty-seven percent of U.S. adults say that social media platforms hurt democracy, according to a recent poll by Axios and SurveyMonkey

The oven gloves were off on Thanksgiving eve, as Facebook quietly admitted to asking an opposition-research company to investigate billionaire George Soros over his public criticism of the social network.

Mashable reported soon-to-depart policy pusher Elliot Schrage (below) will take the kitchen heat for head Q-tip Mark Zuckerberg, stammering the tech giant used “public information” to determine Soros was funding the heretofore “grassroots” organization Freedom from Facebook, whose ambitious call to action can be found here.

 

COO Sheryl Sandberg (below) was also on the carving block, and to her credit assumed responsibility for using Definers, despite her recent duplicity as the scandal unfolded. Like Obama, she hears about her own operations from the news.

Sandberg said she did not initially remember Definers when she read a New York Times story that detailed how Facebook had employed the firm. She subsequently asked her staff to look into the matter to “double-check whether anything had crossed my desk.”

 

The silver lining for Facebook: their failure to swiftly deploy speech restriction policies as photos and discussions of a 17-year-old South Sudanese child bride being auctioned off from a reportedly unrelated platform sprouted on the social media site was largely ignored over the holiday weekend.

Facebook said the post was taken down as soon as the company learned of it, but that wasn’t until after the girl involved was married.

 

Thanks to our sources: 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pentagon-audit/pentagon-fails-its-first-ever-audit-official-says-idUSKCN1NK2MC?fbclid=IwAR1qfSDx_O6JTkGFclgSzEnWmRo2MrC3fSzbTAZXwN9J1MJqjhdMnNIeukE

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/15/economy/us-budget-deficit/index.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/feds-have-paid-undercover-informants-migrant-caravan-n938416

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/22/politics/trump-us-troops-lethal-force-closing-border/index.html

https://theintercept.com/2018/11/14/yemen-war-wolves-bill-congress/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2018/10/23/feds-are-ordering-google-to-hand-over-a-load-of-innocent-peoples-locations/?fbclid=IwAR1JfPp2p2fgKwv-xc6KEOMiS_buWrfRFlcjJO_AZkhnZpn7DYvXtl3Z7LU#3ff529b95a0d

https://thehill.com/policy/technology/417933-facebook-faces-calls-for-new-leadership?userid=115887

https://mashable.com/article/facebook-admits-attack-billionaire-george-soros/#mwRhi7bERsOB

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/11/21/zuckerberg-says-he-wont-step-down-sandbergs-job-is-safe-even-after-facebooks-scandals/?utm_term=.604b29fe555f

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/20/africa/south-sudan-child-bride-facebook-auction-intl/index.html

Cinco de ResignO and Corn

Ex-Trump adviser Carl Icahn‘s oil refinery is cashing in on a “financial hardship waiver” from Trump’s EPA, freeing the facility from a key Federal regulation.

Related:

Trains, Cranes and Blame Games

CVR Energy Inc (based in EPA “administrator” Scott Pruitt‘s home state of Oklahoma) is one of a lucky two dozen “small” oil refineries (75,000 or fewer barrels produced daily) to score the coveted exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard regulation in 2017, potentially saving tens of millions of dollars according to Reuters.

Scott Pruitt is pictured. |Getty Images

Above: Pruitt makes a point.

Because the Federal Government’s main purpose is to preserve jobs that are no longer useful or exist only at the behest of enormous lobbies, all gasoline and diesel is required to contain a certain percentage of corn-based ethanol, which subsidizes corn farmers to use gasoline-powered tractors to harvest corn we don’t need to force-feed the animal flesh (locked in a race with global warming to destroy human civilization) and mix in with the real fossil fuels.

Reuters reports the program (originating under George W. Bush in 2005 and increasing the required “renewable” portion of blended fuel each year) purports to cut air pollution, reduce petroleum imports and support corn farmers.

Unfortunately, when government rules with unconstitutional regulations, the little people get shucked first. Small refineries must prove disproportionate financial hardship to legally waive the “blending credits” all oil outfits must otherwise either produce or purchase to present as annual tribute to the EPA. The “hardship” definition is more inclusive under Trump, leading to more waivers compared with those granted by Obama’s EPA.

The EPA’s oily move on CVR was lambasted by a separate corn-fed state official, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

According to Reuters, Icahn is currently under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for his role in influencing biofuels policy while serving as Trump’s adviser.

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Speaking of the EPA…oh boy.

EPA head Scott Pruitt's security costs have been encouraged by his head of security, former Secret Service Pasquale 'Nino' Perrotta

Head EPA security thug Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta (above) resigned Tuesday under allegations of terminating whistleblower Kevin Chmielewski for refusing to retroactively approve some lavish travel for a former Pruitt aide. He was scheduled to talk to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday regarding their federal ethics investigation of the agency and it’s unclear how that will be refined settled.

According to The Hill, [o]nce someone leaves government employment, the inspector general’s office [which would concern internal, not congressional testimony-taking anyway] cannot compel someone to comply with an investigation.

(This may apply more to Albert Kelly, Pruitt’s head of the Superfund at EPA who, ironically enough, funded Pruitt through loans from his Bristow, OK-based SpiritBank. Apparently, the FDIC hit Kelly with a $125,000 fine and a lifetime banking ban last year after SpiritBank squandered $30 million in TARP bailout funds.)

SpiritBank Logo

Kelly (below) also resigned from EPA on Tuesday.

EPA's Albert Kelly. Photo credit: Oklahoma State Home Builders Association

(Credit to Daily Mail for obtaining a photo of Perrotta–apparently no easy feat, as even his LinkedIn profile keeps that ugly mug anonymous. But Daily Mail has a consistent typo implying Pruitt is receiving a blowjob rather than “taking heat” for his shameless exploitation of government office.)

From Nino’s LinkedIn profile, the former Secret Service agent fancies himself as a less-literate version of Liam Neeson from Taken:

I have a very “unique” law enforcement career with extensive leadership and law enforcement experience; world – wide [sic]. For the past ten years, as a hobby, I created and sold a very successful startup construction firm that accomplished numerous home improvement projects throughout the D.C. area. Today I manage a boutique security and investigative firm; [sic] Sequoia Security Group, Inc. which is based out of Bethesda, Maryland. The Sequoia team is comprised of highly successful, diversified team members, all having “unique” experience making our firm very successful at meeting our client needs. 

I am a results driven individual that enjoys [sic] seeing progress at work!

“Nino” reportedly encouraged Pruitt’s much-publicized police state preparations, including his upgraded Chevy Suburban with Kevlar-lined seat covers, twenty (20) bodyguards and $43,000 soundproof booth. (The proposed bulletproof desks never got installed.)

Sequoia Security Group associate, Edwin Steinmetz, reportedly won the $3,000 contract to shake down Pruitt’s office for possible concealed listening devices in March.

Washington Post:

Pruitt also had biometric locks installed in his office […] for a cost of $5,656.75. Those expenditures, first reported by AP, weren’t disclosed on the government’s contracting website because they were split into two payments and the threshold for reporting stands at $3,500.

Chicago Tribune:

[T]he 2014 Chevy Tahoe with four-wheel-drive that was used by Gina McCarthy, Pruitt’s predecessor as EPA administrator, has largely sat idle at the EPA headquarters, according to several current and former staffers. The agency had its lease renewed on Feb. 2, 2017, at a cost of $9,180.

Under House questioning in April, Pruitt admitted he delegated approval of larger pay raises for two subordinates (reversing his previous pleas of ignorance): Senior legal counsel Sarah Greenwalt received a raise of more than $66,000, bringing her salary to $164,200, and scheduling director Millian Hupp saw her salary jump from $48,000 to $114,590.

But citizens are perhaps most indignant at Pruitt’s self-indulgent travel portfolio. Washington Post alleges the administrator sought to use his office as a dress rehearsal for taxpayer-funded retirement: Pruitt drew up a list of at least a dozen countries he hoped to visit and urged aides to help him find official reasons to travel.

Apparently, Pruitt’s essential EPA mission to Morocco last December–four days, $100,000–was planned by ex-Comcast lobbyist Richard Smotkin, who subsequently scored a $40,000/month position lobbying for the Moroccan government. Cha-CHING !!!

John Konkus of EPA’s press office and Liz Bowman of the public affairs division also quit late last week.

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The NSA more than tripled its metadata collection of phone calls last year compared to 2016, sweeping up 530 million call records. For your protection.

These call records include what number the unsuspecting citizen target dialed and how long they spoke. 40 individuals were targeted in 2017.

Surveillance requests under FISA section 702, which do not require a warrant, increased from 5,288 to 7,512.

NSA’s FISA Festivities Extended with Bipartisan Support; Rest of Government Fights for Funding–Updated with Related FBI Dereliction of Duty

Tech Crunch extrapolates that more Americans innocent until proven guilty (hope you have nothing to hide!) were “unmasked” by intelligence agencies.

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! April 3–Susan Rice Returns

Use of the pen register/trace and tap orders (for which Government prosecutors need only suggest that “the information likely to be obtained by such installation and use is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation”) decreased. Lots of paperwork.

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We missed some big news from March, in which ex-FBI director James Comey (currently self-enriching on the book tour and talk show circuit) was shown to have misled the public regarding options for cracking the Syed Farook iPhone in February 2016.

FBI Rapes More Phones

FBI Rapes More Phones (Continued)

Tech Crunch reported that days after Comey’s public pity party aimed at manipulating the public against the encryption on their iPhones that ostensibly prevented his investigation of the San Bernardino mass murderer, the FBI decided to ask existing vendors if that was even true. Apparently not, because the Remote Operations Unit (ROU), who handles the vendors, told the Inspector General that Comey never bothered to call them.

The OIG report cited former FBI Executive Assistant Director Amy Hess:

Hess expressed concerns that an [Operational Technology Division] unit may have had techniques available to exploit the Farook iPhone that certain unidentified OTD officials did not employ and that these officials were indifferent to the fact that FBI leadership and others were testifying to Congress, and filing affidavits in court, that the FBI had no such capability.

[Hess] became concerned that the CEAU [Cryptographic and Electronic Analysis Unit–a division of ODT] Chief did not seem to want to find a technical solution, and that perhaps he knew of a solution but remained silent in order to pursue his own agenda of obtaining a favorable court ruling against Apple. 

[…]

[He] told the OIG that, after the outside vendor came forward, he became frustrated that the case against Apple could no longer go forward, and he vented his frustration to the ROU Chief. He acknowledged that during this conversation between the two, he expressed disappointment that the ROU Chief had engaged an outside vendor to assist with the Farook iPhone, asking the ROU Chief, “Why did you do that for? [sic]”

As we reported previously, the iPhone was successfully hacked by an anonymous vendor.

On the book tour, Comey has reportedly stated his agents grilling  Michael Flynn believed the ex-Trump adviser deceived the bureau about his Kremlin communications. This was apparently contradicted by newly un-redacted House Intelligence Committee testimony from Comey, who professed the agents thought Flynn was being truthful.

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Former FBI attorney Lisa Page, recently demoted in the wake of anti-Trump texts exchanged with Peter Strzok while helping Mueller investigate Trump’s alleged 2016 collusion with Moscow (see our link “NSA’s FISA Festivities…” above), resigned Friday.

Lisa Page, FBI agent who bashed Trump in texts, resigns

Page was photographed in “active wear.” Chilly!

(She may be modeling a new Washington trend, “take the pension and run.”)

For example, former Comey associate and chief FBI lawyer (recently demoted) James Baker…also resigned on Friday.

He is alleged to have spoken with Mother Jones prior to the breaking news of Trump’s alleged Kremlin connections in “the dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele. MJ reporter (yes, his actual name) David Corn denied Baker leaked the story.

*

Cambridge Analytica filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday.

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And alleged House Democrat hacker Imran Awan continues to evade prosecution for charges of bank fraud and conspiracy. The most recent postponement moved his U.S. District Court hearing from Friday to June.

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! Awan Updates

Fox News reports a plea deal may be planned.

Awan’s attorney contends the conservative site Daily Caller, as well as goading tweets from Trump, are keeping the story alive, requiring time-consuming provision of evidence.

 

Thanks to our sources: 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biofuels-epa-icahn/exclusive-u-s-epa-grants-biofuels-waiver-to-billionaire-icahns-oil-refinery-sources-idUSKBN1I10YB

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/386281-upheaval-at-pruitts-epa-as-departures-mount?userid=115887

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/03/06/man-hired-to-sweep-scott-pruitts-office-for-bugs-is-in-business-with-a-top-epa-security-official/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a295cf156f0e

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/12/pruitt-epa-security-chief-spending-pasquale-perrotta-480825

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-scott-pruitt-suv-bullet-proof-seat-covers-20180417-story.html

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/epa-chief-faces-capitol-hill-grilling-over-ethical-043405198–politics.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scott-pruitt-lobbyists-foreign-travel_us_5aebd4bfe4b0ab5c3d63a64e

 

NSA triples metadata collection numbers, sucking up over 500 million call records in 2017

https://nypost.com/2018/05/05/house-intel-panel-report-reveals-comey-book-tour-discrepancy/

Inquiry finds FBI sued Apple to unlock phone without considering all options

https://nypost.com/2018/05/05/lisa-page-fbi-agent-who-bashed-trump-in-texts-resigns/

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/04/politics/fbi-officials-lisa-page-james-baker-resign/index.html

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/385881-cambridge-analytica-shutting-down-report?userid=115887

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/04/ex-dem-it-aide-imran-awan-s-case-hit-with-repeated-delays-as-feds-probe-new-allegations.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+%28Internal+-+Politics+-+Text%29

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: July 9: James Comey, Rogue Agent

The Hill learned that recently-dismissed FBI Director James Comey sprinkled some classified details into “private memos” he transcribed after meeting with his former boss, President Donald Trump. How many of these so-called “personal recollections” contained classified information? More than half, per unnamed sources.

That Comey’s office pursued a criminal investigation into Trump’s chief rival for the presidency last year, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for a similar practice–an angle many Democrats (and Hillary herself) continue to credit for the failure of her elitist campaign amidst a sordid history of political thuggery and personal enrichment–was not lost on The Hill.

Related:

BREAKING NEWS

As we have extensively covered, the eleventh-hour “reopening” of the Hillary email investigation in the campaign’s final weeks was widely cited by Hillary and her allies (along with Russian hacking, sexism, racism and “fake news”) as tipping the November 2016 election to President Trump.

BREAKING NEWS–PART ONE

Comey testified [in June] he considered the memos to be personal documents and that he shared at least one of them with a Columbia University lawyer friend. He asked that lawyer to leak information from one memo to the news media in hopes of increasing pressure to get a special prosecutor named in the Russia case after Comey was fired as FBI director. 

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 9: FBI Director Comey Fired

[our emphasis]

The “Russia case” refers to the FBI probe into possible collusion between Trump and Russia, who reportedly attempted to hack the 2016 U.S. national elections. Comey’s leadership of the case coincided with highly-publicized testimony to Congress prior to his firing.

Related:

BREAKING: Comey at the Bat

The Russia investigation continues under former FBI head Robert Mueller.

Thanks to our source:

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/341225-comeys-private-memos-on-trump-conversations-contained-classified?rnd=1499645596

Anal iPhone Sex Enjoyed by LAPD

LAPD Used “Backdoor” Entry to Hack iPhone of Michael Jace’s Wife

iPhone of Michael Jace's wife is accessed

Well, that didn’t take long.

“The Shield” actor Michael Jace, accused of killing his wife April Jace two years ago, may have new evidence against him. Last March, Los Angeles police worked with a “forensic cellphone expert” to crack Mrs. Jace’s phone by overriding the locking feature, LA Times reports.

Unlike the FBI, who as we have extensively reported were concurrently demanding Apple write new software to introduce vulnerability to every iPhone worldwide so the FBI could unlock the iPhone of ISIS terrorist murderer Syed Farook (which they deliberately locked instead of connecting to a wireless network), the LAPD at least obtained a search warrant for Mrs. Jace’s communications.

This was in addition to data recovered by an Apple tech expert, who had previously assisted LAPD in the case. The technician was ordered by a Los Angeles judge to unlock the phone, and the hard drive was successfully extracted in early 2015.

Police allege Jace and his wife argued about their relationship via text message just before Mrs. Jace was shot.

LA Times lists various other pretty incriminating-looking evidence against Jace. The recent hacking appears to be after the origin of a 911 call placed around the time of the shooting, in which a man–Jace, prosecutors allege–tells dispatchers he shot his wife.

However, that call was apparently already known to be made with Mr. Jace’s cell phone, not his wife’s.

Jace filed for bankruptcy in 2011, listing among his liabilities over $22,000 in debt to the Federal Government.

LA Times reports neighbors were shocked at the murder, protesting, “They were the Huxtables on the block.”

Bill Cosby’s character on “The Cosby Show” may not be the best example of a family man given his own legal troubles.

Thanks to our source: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-locked-iphone-actor-wife-michael-jace-20160504-story.html

FBI Rapes More Phones (Continued)

UPDATES: FBI Paid Over $1,000,000 to Hack iPhone of San Bernardino They Deliberately Locked to Force Apple to Engineer Encryption-Busting Software; Agency Additionally “Cracks” New York iPhone by Acquiring 4-Digit Passcode

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the FBI paid an anonymous hacker over $1,000,000 to hack into the phone it deliberately instructed San Bernardino police to lock up in a failed attempt to manipulate Apple into sabotaging its blockbuster smartphone product under the guise of recovering data possibly left behind by deceased San Bernardino massacre architect Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik.

FBI Rapes More Phones

While the exact amount is unknown, CNBC calculated from comments made by shameless FBI head thug James Comey (in a press conference in which he stated the amount was “worth it” to continue eroding Americans’ communication privacy) that the hacker’s ransom exceeded Comey’s remaining, well-padded salary as FBI director and is therefore at least $1,340,000. They’ll bill the taxpayers.

(For those of you good with math, that’s over $180,000 annually to assault your liberties. Go back to your SpaghettiOs, little person.)

This is the highest known mercenary phone-hacking payout to date, according to CNBC, as the communication security company (no irony here at all) Zerodium paid $1,000,000 even to…break into phones. So much more comforting when your own government can outbid any private sector snooper.

At the London conference in which he spiked the football on the iPhone cracking, Comey bemoaned the communication company WhatsApp for recently announcing end-to-end encryption for its users (from WSJ):

There are a significant number of criminals and terrorists that use WhatsApp, and that’s a problem,’’ Mr. Comey said. Automatically encrypting that volume of communications, he said, “comes at a significant cost,’’ so policy makers and corporations should ask themselves, “Is there a way to address the cost and try to optimize the benefits?”

Apparently no journalists in attendance asked Mr. Comey if he pulled the scientific figure “significant number” out of his sedentary, well-pensioned Federal Government ass or if he just wants more access to all Americans’ instant messaging.

Another wrinkle in Uncle Sam’s corrupt crusade in anal phone sex to better control the little people emerged this past week in a New York case that, like Comey’s ham-handed technique to twist Apple’s arm into betraying the confidence of its customers, hinged on the Department of Justice’s reliance on the All Writs Act of 1789. A little outdated, but clearly the founders foresaw the imperative of the Federal Government to demand you open the wax seal on your letters to family and friends at their whim because security.

Amy Davidson over at the New Yorker points out how this rather abstract demand for companies to create new products on demand if the Federal Government issues such a demand–NOT a subpoena–is a slippery slope (which the mainstream media is ignoring, like the President’s secret drone kill list, because their guy is in the White House right now.)

The Eastern District of New York (the same district from which  current Attorney General Loretta Lynch launched her national career by seizing $100,000,000 in assets from largely poor and minority citizens, in an unconstitutional revenue racket Obama re-authorized last month) has withdrawn a lawsuit demanding Apple…unlock another iPhone.

As Emily Pierce, Justice Department spokeswoman, told USA Today, “[T]hese cases have never been about setting a court precedent; they are about law enforcement’s ability and need to access evidence on devices pursuant to lawful court orders and search warrants…[i]n this case, an individual provided the department with the passcode to the locked phone at issue in the Eastern District of New York. Because we now have access to the data we sought, we notified the court of this recent development and have withdrawn our request for assistance.

Only the Federal Government can tell its employees, the taxpayers, “We got what we wanted, so we’ll leave you alone…until next time.”

The iPhone in question had apparently not been sabotaged, as was Farook’s, by the Federal Government Agency that now demanded assistance in reconstructing unknown data (in a move that would coincidentally further erode 4th Amendment protections). Instead, the Feds just needed a passcode to pry into a convicted drug dealer’s phone.

Jun Feng of Queens, NY, already pleaded guilty to methamphetamine conspiracy last year. But if anyone will go for the throat when you’re on the ground in handcuffs, it’s the government.

This is, after all, New York State, where white NYPD cops were filmed strangling a black man, Eric Garner, to death for denying the State their $5.85 per pack state and local cigarette tax. It’s for your own protection, you ingrate asthmatic.

Just as in the Farook case, an anonymous third party apparently gave the Feds the code for Feng’s iPhone 5s.

Or maybe the code was 1-2-3-4. The FBI isn’t talking. Unlike the iPhones they can now open with their goodies from the Farook manipulation.

In March, Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled the FBI’s demands of Apple to reveal the passcode were illegal.

Justice appealed the ruling. Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie is hearing the appeals case.

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/fbi-paid-more-than-13m-to-hack-san-bernardino-iphone.html

http://www.wsj.com/articles/comey-fbi-paid-more-than-1-million-to-hack-san-bernardino-iphone-1461266641

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/04/22/feds-gain-access-iphone-drug-case-drop-apple-pressure/83397224/

FBI Rapes More Phones

UPDATES: FBI Paid Over $1,000,000 to Hack iPhone of San Bernardino They Deliberately Locked to Force Apple to Engineer Encryption-Busting Software; Agency Additionally “Cracks” New York iPhone by Acquiring 4-Digit Passcode

As we reported last week, the Federal Government snidely and suddenly dropped their lawsuit against Apple, the world’s largest corporation, that had demanded the tech pioneer reverse-engineer its own product, enabling the Federal Government (as well as far more numerous and competent identity thieves) to exercise unparalleled access to private citizens’ communications (beyond what they and the NSA already enjoy).

Among other highlights, the legal battle featured an emotionally manipulative “open letter” to Apple from FBI head thug James Comey and, according to British news outlet The Guardian, presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for the public to boycott Apple until they consented to the government’s demand to threaten iPhone customer security.

Last week’s extension of the horrific Federal Government saga to use the San Bernardino victims as leverage to seize more control over citizen communications brought you an anticlimactic conclusion by the Bureau: “nothing of real significance” was found on the iPhone left behind by ISIS martyr Syed Farook (although he destroyed his government-issued devices, but what are the odds any clues to further terror were on those?).

James Comey was a real piece of shit about the whole thing. As he sneered to CBS News on whether he would share the vulnerability his crooked enforcement agency exploited with a private hacker when Apple chose customer loyalty over betraying the privacy of hundreds of millions of Americans:  “If we tell Apple, they’re going to fix it and we’re back where we started…[a]s silly as it may sound, we may end up there. We just haven’t decided yet.”

At least we know this is probably the full extent of secrecy by our own employees, the Federal Government. It only took one U.S. patriot traitor giving up his citizenship to expose the NSA collection of every phone call and duration you’ve made in the past 10 years or so.

Two recent updates to the utter patronizing of the American people by one of hundreds of bloated, controlling, invasive Federal Agencies they fund (many readers wrote checks April 18th because another Agency, the IRS, determined it hadn’t confiscated enough from your 2015 paychecks) are noteworthy this week.

Before we delve into these pressing updates, DarthFranktheTank.com would like to recognize the victims of the monstrous, unacceptable attack last December: their sacrifice will not be in vain.

Pictured above, the 14 victims who lost their lives in the attack. Another 24 people were injured in the shooting

No matter how many times a Federal Government Agency waves the photos of these slaughtered Americans to galvanize public sentiment, stirring the emotions of these victims’ families (as well as the families and friends of the additional 22 wounded by Farook and his wife), shamelessly using them as pawns to conquer a board of ever-declining liberty and freedom to which we, as Americans, are entitled, those of us who value our exceptionalism and vast potential as citizens of the greatest country in the world will never let the honor of these 14 martyrs be so corrupted.

Though the bumbling Feds refuse to take ISIS ISIL seriously even after we have been attacked on our own soil, we will never forget freedom is not free.

The aforementioned IMPORTANT UPDATES on the continuing American resistance against FBI and NSA intrusion are detailed in the preceding post.

Uncle Sam’s Unsatisfying Anal

FBI’s Very Public Showdown Over Anal Sex with Apple’s iPhone Yields…Blood and Shit

It turns out there was nothing substantial on the San Bernardino iPhone all along

Above, Apple CEO Tim Cook, holding one of his many iPhone daughters, whom the Federal Government requested to rape from behind, then got to pork anyway when Cook said no thanks to a heretofore unnamed third party.

The Federal Government agency that brazenly demanded the world’s largest corporation create software to destroy the integrity of its product to honor 14 ISIS terrorist victims “[w]e owe a thorough and professional investigation under law,” according to top FBI propagandist James Comey, appears to have come up empty after shamelessly violating the concept of private citizens’ communications confidentiality.

Claiming “we cannot look survivors in the eye” if we don’t ram the multi-trillion-dollar authority penis of the Federal Government into potentially every encrypted product anus in search of potential data on one dead terrorist’s phone–data the agency itself deliberately locked by “mistakenly” changing the Apple ID of Syed Farook’s only un-destroyed device–Crony Comey had the audacity to write a heartstring-tugging puff piece for lawfareblog.com on taxpayer time to inform the little people that although Uncle Sam didn’t have to take the public’s most beloved, secure communications device from behind, that was what they would be doing. “The relief we seek is limited and its value increasingly obsolete because the technology continues to evolve,” Comey implored.

Well. Most of us have found free online porn sites and a little lotion mollify this urge quite nicely. Comey cannot be ignorant of this, as his partner Federal Government agency, the NSA, collects everyone’s internet history.

Comey continued to paint a rosy narrative of the $8,000,000,000-budget agency’s powerlessness against a smoking terrorist corpse, insisting the agency needed a peek inside Farook’s government-issued Blackberry–which, to reiterate, mysteriously locked up only once the Government got its slimy hands on it–to supplement the data from Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik’s personal devices, which uploaded to the “cloud” automatically like the now-compromised, encrypted devices of millions of Apple customers always had.

“We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly,” Comey pleaded to an ornery public that seemed not to want Uncle Sam’s dick up in their devices, or at least the non-conforming 49% surveyed who had reservations.“Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists. Maybe it doesn’t.”

What followed the backroom deal with an anonymous hacker as we reported last month. The eagerly-anticipated results? Yahoo! Finance has the story, hardly publicized by the pro-Obama, “degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS ISIL” media:

CBS News reports, citing a law enforcement source, says that “so far nothing of real significance has been found” on Farook’s iPhone. The investigation is ongoing, according to the source.

This matches up with remarks made by the San Bernardino police chief in February, when he said that there is a “reasonably good chance there is nothing of any value on the phone.” 

Uncle Sam rammed his bloated Federal tool into your privacy against the wishes of a plurality of the public. And it wasn’t even satisfying. TRIGGER WARNING He ripped out his weathered manhood, coated in shit, to the dismay of the private citizen and the satisfaction of the Federal Government overlords.

It was never about finding anything useful. It was an act of superiority, power, and further instilling in a passive public the notion they are powerless without their employees, the Federal agents who are spending them into oblivion.

Thanks to our source: 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/turns-nothing-substantial-san-bernardino-143331633.html

FBI Refuses to Inform Their Employers of Whether Farook iPhone Data is “Useful”

Federal Government Agency, Drunk on Power Despite Failing to Manipulate Company Into Destroying Its Product Integrity, Cannot Tell Taxpayers If Anything Good on There

“If there’s more information in the phone — more contacts, more communications, more of anything — that’s a success for the F.B.I.” –FBI lawyer James Baker

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the Federal Government’s foremost law enforcement agency will not be sharing with the taxpayers who fund its (largely redacted) operations news on whether the Feds’ public brawl with Apple–and subsequent forced compromising of iPhone messaging security to risk communications integrity for millions of Americans–yielded any new or useful information on the ISIS-inspired terrorist who shot up a holiday party last December in San Bernardino, CA.

James A. Baker, general counsel for the Bureau, told a Washington audience, “We’re still working on that, I guess is the answer,” when asked if the data extracted from Syed Farook’s iPhone was useful for preventing future homeland terrorism.

The abrupt withdrawal of a lawsuit against Apple by the Federal Government followed a prolonged public pressuring of the iPhone manufacturer to engineer product-sabotaging software to access “cloud” data from Farook’s phone, which the FBI specifically urged San Bernardino police to seal by tampering to require Apple’s compliance for future access.

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s refusal to degrade and destroy (the Obama administration’s favored term for prolonged, expensive conflict) his product was rendered irrelevant  following a heretofore unnamed third party’s “backdoor” workaround of the built-in encryption on Farook’s device.

Under the guise of national security, the Bureau’s obstinate charade to further monitor citizens’ private lives proceeded under the thin premise that Farook’s cloud data (not including his SMS texts and call logs, which were not only readily available but, indeed, are compiled on every American, every minute of every day by the NSA, another Federal Agency) could lend introspection to the deceased terrorist suspect’s motives that killed 14 civilians last year.

Unlike his wife, Tashfeen Malik, Farook did not post his allegiance to the international terrorist caliphate ISIS on Facebook in the hour preceding the attack. Presumably his logic in this decision is among the top-secret, super-conclusive data the Federal Agency so brashly sought to squeeze from Apple.

According to the New York Times:

It was worth the fight to make sure that we have turned over every rock that we can with respect to the investigation. We owe it to the victims and the families to make sure that we pursue every logical lead.”

Mr. Baker would not say for certain whether the content would be made public.

If and when it becomes appropriate to disclose it, we will,” he said.

The anger and pain of the friends and family of those 14 innocent people (as well as 22 additional civilians and 2 police officers injured) by the terrorist couple is perfectly understandable.

Whether their justice will be realized in signing over more privacy rights to a ravenous, relentless government bureaucracy, whose own electronic safeguards and security protocols are routinely exposed as mediocre at best, remains to be seen.

The Times did note that Farook and his wife destroyed several other of their mobile devices prior to the deadly attack, and “it was seen as unlikely that [Farook] would keep sensitive information related to the December attack on an intact phone issued to him by the San Bernardino County government.”

Enrique Marquez, Farook’s former acquaintance who provided the firearms, remains the only criminal suspect charged. Farook and Malik were both killed by police.

But in the age of big data, more suspects, more clues, and more hunches are the prevailing goal of law enforcement, regardless of how useful that information may prove, or what civil liberties of the innocent masses must be threatened to obtain it.

“If there’s more information in the phone — more contacts, more communications, more of anything — that’s a success for the F.B.I.,” Mr. Baker told the press conference.

Thanks to our source:

Uncle Sam Dangles Carrot of Cooperation to State and Local Police Forces

UPDATED 4/8/16 at 6:00 PM: The taxpayer-subsidized PBS.org “News Hour” posted a pro-Big Brother story Saturday 4/2/16, which we summarize to illustrate the salivating law enforcement and security squads itching to unlock phones across the country:

In a tragic account of an apparent homicide, PBS spotlighted the killing of Brittney Mills in Baton Rouge, LA in April 2015. Shot to death just minutes after texting her mother, Mills remains a cold case. Law enforcement argues her iPhone (which already successfully dumped all the metadata for government use) must be cracked, as the iOS 8 encryption protects additional information such as “iMessages” which may reveal the killer’s identity.

Phone call logs, SMS text messages and other data–routinely collected on every American by the NSA–are not at issue. These upload to the “cloud” automatically and are already accessible. Law enforcement and government bankrollers want every datum they can muster from their subjects. If this means trampling the Fourth Amendment “for your safety,” so be it.

As the PBS pro-citizen tracking piece admits:

“East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said there are as many as 80 phones that he is unable to unlock that he thinks could help investigators. And in jurisdictions around the country local prosecutors have the same problem.”

Law enforcement is already compiling lists of cases that could possibly be served by forcing Apple to engineer weakness into their customers’ communications–cases that might be solved by good old “real police work”–but if you have a privacy-destroying tool, 1). why not use is? And 2). what happens when the “cold cases” are solved? Will the tool be destroyed…or aimed at the remaining population, powerless to communicate without undergoing surveillance by their federal employees (and facing new litigation, creating crimes to suit the pool of data and collect revenue at any cost)?

The at-large gunman must have suspected the government would bow to conservative privacy interests and refuse–or at least resist–cracking the iPhone’s built-in encryption. Presumably, that was why he or she was comfortable leaving the victim’s $800 iPhone at the scene of the crime instead of holding onto it to sell or destroy.

Original Article Appears Below

Federal Government Gleefully Unlocks Alleged Terrorist’s iPhone, Emails Country’s Police Departments on New Tactic to Circumvent Fourth Amendment. Comply or Lose Your Surplus Armored Tanks and Bazookas

Buzzfeed first reported this week that the mysterious “third-party” technology the FBI employed to get all up in the ass of the iPhone used by Syed Farook prior to his allegedly ISIS-inspired massacre in San Bernardino,CA last December is probably on its way to further empower local law enforcement agencies.

This will allow the Federal Government’s ham-handed response of invading citizens’ privacy to spread, like tentacles of a bloated federal bureaucracy, to allow state and county jurisdictions to similarly usurp Apple’s encryption.

FBI Assistant Director Kerry Sleeper (justice never sleeps. Nor do NSA metadata recordings of your phone records) at the FBI Office of Partner Engagement released an “advisory letter” that indicated the FBI’s magnanimous intent to “consider any tool that might be helpful to our partners” in hacking into the phones of presumed innocent citizens because they can fighting crime, beginning with a gleeful football-spike that third parties were eager to help restore the data the FBI themselves deliberately sabotaged to force Apple to undercut privacy of hundreds of millions of customers.

“…[A]s a result of the worldwide publicity and attention generated by the litigation with Apple, others outside the U.S. government continued to contact the U.S. government offering avenues of possible research. In mid-March, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking the iPhone. That method for unlocking that specific iPhone proved successful.

We know that the absence of lawful, critical investigative tools due to the “Going Dark” problem is a substantial state and local law enforcement challenge that you face daily. As has been our longstanding policy, the FBI will of course consider any tool that might be helpful to our partners.”
What favors the FBI will demand in return for letting the lesser jurisdictions in on this little nugget is unclear. But you can bet the mysterious method Uncle Sam employed to bully his way into “that specific iPhone” will immediately become S.O.P. at “jurisdictions” used to smack down vulnerable citizens across the country.

The letter of unity against over-litigated citizens ends with the following ominous pledge:

“Please know that we will continue to do everything we can to help you consistent with our legal and policy constraints. You have our commitment that we will maintain an open dialogue with you. We are in this together.”

The authorities are “in this together” with other authorities insofar as they can confiscate revenues, navigate “legal and policy constraints” and acquire battlefield weaponry to keep the little people in check.

Breaking Soon (after lunch break here at DarthFranktheTank.com, hopefully): Denver Police Department Using NSA-Grade Software to Track Citizens’ GPS locations, Social Network Messages, Pictures, Contacts, and Other Private Information that is, Well, No Longer Private if You Live in Denver

Thanks to Buzzfeed for the source on this BREAKING SURVEILLANCE UPDATE: http://www.buzzfeed.com/salvadorhernandez/fbi-tells-local-law-enforcement-it-will-help-unlock-phones#.sslEzNAQA

Also for the UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/unlocking-justice-breaking-into-iphone-may-help-find-louisiana-killer-police-say/

Uncle Sam is in the Back Door

FBI Gains Backdoor Access to iPhone it Demanded Apple Unlock Last Month

In an interesting development, the “intelligence community” of the Federal Government has utilized an unnamed “third party” to gain backdoor access to the iPhone data of December ISIS-inspired San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook (still deceased).  The Federal Government deliberately locked this crucial data by trying 10 passcodes instead of uploading the data to the “cloud” by taking the device to Farook’s office or home wi-fi environment (see our previous reporting), in an attempt to strong-arm Apple into writing software to introduce vulnerability of all its devices to future Government probing.

Uncle Sam confirmed the news with DarthFranktheTank.com in a phone interview this morning.

“Yeah man, we didn’t need that terrorist sympathizer [Apple CEO Tim] Cook after all. I was gonna just get iPhone’s ugly cousin to do anal like I said before, only this secret patriot showed me a method to pile-drive any iPhone in the ass, any time I want.”

Sam lit another cigarette and spat. “It’s almost like I feigned helplessness to make iPhone cooperate, and then when she was a little bitch and refused to realize she wanted me, I dropped all pretense of wanting–needing–her, and only her, revealing that was just a ploy to get more access to the data of the little people. For tracking, monitoring, communications analysis…you know, all the essential functions the taxpayers expect me to invade their lives with. Who else will build the roads?

“So I dropped that lawsuit demanding Apple write software to expose iPhone for anal by the Federal Government, about an hour before the hearing was set to begin,” Sam gloated. “Nothing like making the taxpayers sweat a little. It makes me feel powerful. Like a real man.”

Sam would not confirm whether the “third party” anal strategy was provided by The Johns Hopkins University, who Washington Post reported last week had found a fatal flaw in the iPhone encryption that could be exploited by the Federal Government for future cases of citizen insubordination.

Johns Hopkins receives more taxpayer money than any other college or university in America. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics labs develop killer drones, which President Obama uses to assassinate foreign nationals, including hundreds of innocent women and children, without trial.

Thanks to our sources: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/274507-feds-to-withdraw-apple-iphone-request-report; https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/johns-hopkins-researchers-discovered-encryption-flaw-in-apples-imessage/2016/03/20/a323f9a0-eca7-11e5-a6f3-21ccdbc5f74e_story.html; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/27/universities-government-money_n_3165186.html.