Posts tagged prosecution
Documents in JPMorgan settlement reveal how every large bank in U.S. has committed mortgage fraud
Published by TheRealNews
Bill Black: Justice Dept.’s failure to understand pervasive schemes of fraud in financial industry obstructs meaningful prosecution of banks
MIT “Whitewash” Report to Absolve Responsibility in Swartz Death
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conducted their own investigation into how Aaron Swartz was treated by the college prior to his “suicide”. MIT reported that they acted “prudently” in how they handled their involvement in the federal government’s prosecution of Swartz.
Swartz was accused of using MIT computers to download nearly 5 million articles from a website database of journals at JSTOR. By using academic access, Swartz allegedly entered into an unlocked closet in the basement to plug into the school’s internet connection.
The internal investigation was initiated by Rafael Reif, president of MIT, who passed the buck to Hal Abelson, professor of computer science.
Reif stated that this report would set “the record straight by dispelling widely circulated myths” regarding how Swartz was targeted by MIT who then acted as if they were neutral in their position as the federal government sought to persecute Swartz.
Abelson’s report cites that MIT was not in pursuit of federal prosecution of Swartz, nor did the college oppose his entering a plea bargain for charges against him.
Abelson stated: “We were not engaged. As a result, we as a community failed to live up to high standards that MIT has set for itself in the past.”
The report said that MIT failed to recognize Swartz as a contributor to internet technology; and then created a “poorly drafted and questionable criminal law as applied to modern computing” under which he was charged, and that “the United States was pursuing an overtly aggressive prosecution.”
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and MIT’s involvement should become a national debate, according to the report.
It was also stated that MIT “should consider beefing up its internal legal expertise on cybercrime matters and expressed concern that minor violations of the terms of service for its computer network could result in felony charges and create a chilling effect on important research.”
Nowhere in the report was Swartz praised or given support by MIT. A sense of feigned neutrality was clear throughout the document.
The release of this report made a determined attempt to give the impression that it was the government and not MIT who wanted Swartz to receive a jail sentence.
In 2011, MIT officials uncovered what is believed to be Swartz’s laptop connected to their network and contacted the New England Crimes Task Force (NECTF).
A member of the US Secret Service was present when Swartz was arrested on the MIT campus.
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Swartz’s girlfriend, said the report was a “whitewash” and that MIT’s behavior throughout the investigation was “reprehensible”.
Stinebrickner-Kauffman stated: “Here are the facts: This report claims that MIT was “neutral” — but MIT’s lawyers gave prosecutors total access to witnesses and evidence, while refusing access to Aaron’s lawyers to the exact same witnesses and evidence. That’s not neutral. The fact is that all MIT had to do was say publicly, “We don’t want this prosecution to go forward” – and Steve Heymann and Carmen Ortiz would have had no case. We have an institution to contrast MIT with – JSTOR, who came out immediately and publicly against the prosecution. Aaron would be alive today if MIT had acted as JSTOR did. MIT had a moral imperative to do so.”
Swartz was known for advocating for the free-flow of information without the constraints of copyright laws.
In the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto (GOAM), Swartz said “information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations.”
Swartz pointed out that scientists have to “sign their rights away” when publishing under academic channels; however with the advent of the Open Access Movement (OAM), “those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.”
About the author:
Former CIA agent blames Bush, Rice for extraordinary rendition of Egyptian cleric
The CIA inflated the case of a kidnapped Egyptian cleric in order to protect high-ranked government officials from prosecution in Italy, a former intelligence agent admits for the first time.
Sabrina De Sousa, 55, has long denied involvement with the CIA, and even asked the United States for immunity after she was charged by Italian officials for the 2003 “extraordinary rendition” of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr. But a decade after that kidnapping, the case has reemerged in recent days upon news that her former CIA boss in Milan was captured in Panama, only to be sent back to the US in lieu of what would have likely turned into an extradition request from Italy.
Along with former station chief Robert Seldon Lady and 21 others, De Sousa was convicted in absentia for her role in the kidnapping but avoided any sentencing by straying from Italy. Now speaking to McClatchy, De Sousa admits for the first time her involvement in the plot and identifies herself as one of the CIA agents responsible for the international incident.
In an interview published Monday by McClatchy reporter Jonathan S. Landay, De Sousa outted her role with the CIA and added harsh words about the incident that will likely be unable to mend the agency’s reputation during a time of strained international relations.
According to De Sousa, the entire abduction was masterminded by Jeffrey Castelli, a former CIA station chief in Rome who she insists exaggerated claims that Nasr posed a threat.
Nasr has maintained that the CIA kidnapped him in 2003, and then relocated him to his native Egypt where he was interrogated and tortured for years without ever being charged. In her McClatchy interview, De Sousa said that Castelli plotted the mission and received approval from then-CIA Director George Tenet despite the cleric not even appearing on a list of top terrorists sought by the US intelligence community.
So unconvincing were claims that Nasr was a threat, in fact, that White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was worried about the CIA’s handling. Despite her concerns, she eventually agreed on the operation, according to De Sousa, and recommended it to then-President George W. Bush.
A new tool that would allow law enforcement to prevent criminals from running away or disappearing into a crowd before arrest was highlighted last week at The SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
The High Velocity DNA Tagging system by the U.K.-based security company Selectamark was introduced with police officers in a riot situation in mind. Coming in both pistol and rifle form, the tool would allow police to remain 30 to 40 meters from the target and tag them with a SelectaDNA High Velocity pellet that contains a unique DNA code to ensure the correct person is apprehended later.
“On contact with the target the uniquely-coded SelectaDNA solution leaves a synthetic DNA trace mark that will enable the relevant authorities to confirm or eliminate that person from their involvement in a particular situation and could ultimately lead to arrest and prosecution,” Selectamark Managing Director Andrew Knights said in a statement.
Here’s a look gun at the SHOT show:
Well let us see how this plays out once on the street and the first wrongful imprisonment case goes to court? A peaceful crowd of people and one or more people start a situation and a few innocent bystanders get “tagged” and wrongly arrested, hmm. And what, if any, health hazards based on the explanation in the video?
The Associated Press
Revenge for prosecution of web activist
The FBI has launched an investigation after hacker-activist group Anonymous says it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an internet activist who committed suicide.
The website of the commission, an independent agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday and replaced with a message warning that when Swartz killed himself two weeks ago “a line was crossed.”
The hackers say they’ve infiltrated several government computer systems and copied secret information that they now threaten to make public.
Family and friends of Swartz, who helped create Reddit and RSS, say he killed himself after he was hounded by federal prosecutors.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, in the wake of the suicide, said she believed the case was conducted “reasonably” and “appropriately.”
Officials say he helped post millions of court documents for free online and that he illegally downloaded millions of academic articles from an online clearinghouse.
The FBI’s Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, said in a statement that “we were aware as soon as it happened and are handling it as a criminal investigation. We are always concerned when someone illegally accesses another person’s or government agency’s network.”
Swartz’s supporters believe Ortiz’s office was overly aggressive in charging Swartz with 13 felonies for tapping into the computer network at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to download nearly five million articles from an online clearinghouse for academic journals.
Swartz’s lawyer, Elliot Peters, said prosecutors were insisting that any plea deal would involve Swartz pleading guilty to all 13 felony charges against him and serving four to six months in prison.
Ortiz has said her prosecutors did not demand that Swartz plead guilty.
For the past few weeks, I have been writing in this column about the government’s use of drones and challenging their constitutionality on Fox News Channel where I work. I once asked on air what Thomas Jefferson would have done if — had drones existed at the time — King George III had sent drones to peer inside the bedroom windows of Monticello. I suspect that Jefferson and his household would have trained their muskets on the drones and taken them down. I offer this historical anachronism as a hypothetical only, not as one who is urging the use of violence against the government.
Nevertheless, what Jeffersonians are among us today? When drones take pictures of us on our private property and in our homes, and the government uses the photos as it wishes, what will we do about it? Jefferson understood that when the government assaults our privacy and dignity, it is the moral equivalent of violence against us. The folks who hear about this, who either laugh or groan, cannot find it humorous or boring that their every move will be monitored and photographed by the government.
Don’t believe me that this is coming? The photos that the drones will take may be retained and used or even distributed to others in the government so long as the “recipient is reasonably perceived to have a specific, lawful governmental function” in requiring them. And for the first time since the Civil War, the federal government will deploy military personnel inside the United States and publicly acknowledge that it is deploying them “to collect information about U.S. persons.”
It gets worse. If the military personnel see something of interest from a drone, they may apply to a military judge or “military commander” for permission to conduct a physical search of the private property that intrigues them. And any “incidentally acquired information” can be retained or turned over to local law enforcement. What’s next? Prosecutions before military tribunals in the U.S.?
The quoted phrases above are extracted from a now-public 30-page memorandum issued by President Obama’s secretary of the Air Force on April 23, 2012. The purpose of the memorandum is stated as “balancing … obtaining intelligence information … and protecting individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution….” Note the primacy of intelligence gathering over freedom protection, and note the peculiar use of the word “balancing.”
Bradley Manning defence gets report on WikiLeaks damage to US interests
Judge rules that Obama administration must hand over documents assessing leak of diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks
Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of being the source of the biggest leak of state secrets in American history, has won a partial victory in his battle to force the government to disclose vital information that could help his defence.
The judge presiding over his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland has ordered the US government to hand over several confidential documents relating to the massive leak to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
In particular, the Obama administration must now disclose to Manning’s lawyers some of the damage assessments it carried out into the impact of the leak on US interests around the world.
Should those assessments reveal that the US government found that the fallout from WikiLeaks was limited, that could be used by Manning’s defence to argue his innocence against some of the charges he faces, such as aiding the enemy. If the soldier is found guilty, the information might then prove invaluable in reducing any sentence.
As a result of the ruling, Manning’s defence team was handed the main findings of a state department investigation into the impact of WikiLeaks on Tuesday evening.
Though the information has not been made public, it is likely to include the assessments of embassies across the globe of the effects on their work of the publication of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables.
In addition, Manning’s defence lawyers will now also be able to see a redacted report into WikiLeaks by the defence intelligence agency. It was also revealed that the FBI carried out its own inquiry into the leak of confidential material to WikiLeaks, which the Manning’s defence lawyers will also now pursue.
My gift to the Dare County Republicans, North Carolina. Hopefully the simplicity of this blog post my reach your apathetic and dangerous view point of the world in which you have played your role flawlessly. Watch if you “DARE” to WAKE UP!
You’ve heard about Kony 2012…Well This is a REAL MOVEMENT!
It’s a shame that “the presidential nominee with the most money” is the one who has the best chance to win….This movement is to shatter that….
THIS IS TO RAISE A MASSIVE AWARENESS ABOUT RON PAUL WORLDWIDE!
ALSO LIKE ON FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/RONY-2012-Movement/435181543172621
JOIN THE EVENT ON FACEBOOK AT http://www.facebook.com/events/239961552783547/
INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!
THOSE ON TWITTER FOLLOW AT https://twitter.com/#!/ronywins2012
MAKE TREND #RONY2012 #RONPAUL2012 #WHATISRONY #RONYWINS2012 #TEAMRONY
IMPORTANT! We must get this out before the next states Vote!
The Voting schedule is this…
May 29, 2012 Texas For 155 Delegates
June 5, 2012 California For 172 Delegates
Montana For 26 Delegates
New Jersey For 50 Delegates
New Mexico For 23 Delegates
South Dakota For 28 Delegates
June 26, 2012 Utah For 26 Delegates
By Kurt Nimmo
In a move completely ignored by the establishment media, the Virginia House of Delegates has voted in favor of House Bill 1160 (HB1160), legislation that codifies in Virginia law noncompliance with the “kidnapping provisions” of section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA).
The final vote, held on February 14, was 96-4. The bill was sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall and was introduced on January 16th of this year.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is on record as opposing the legislation.
HB 1160 reads as follows: “A BILL to prevent any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”
Passing the legislation demonstrates the power of local grassroots activism. A number of groups opposed to the federal NDAA bill petitioned the government in Virginia and motivated a Sub-Committee #2 Civil vote followed by a vote of 16-0 by the Courts of Justice Committee which led to the passage of Bob Marshall’s final bill earlier this week.
“Under the recently passed 2012 federal Defense Authorization Act American citizens may be indefinitely detained, incarcerated, not presented with charges and denied counsel based on an accusation by federal agents of collaboration with or support of terrorists,” Marshall told the Tenth Amendment Center. “While Virginia cannot directly undo this purported law which undermines the Sixth Amendment, I introduced HB 1160 which will prevent the use of any Virginia agency or member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force to assist in any way to unlawfully detain a citizen of Virginia on behalf of the United States Government in violation of the Constitution of Virginia.”
The Tenth Amendment Center is currently tracking the progress of legislation in opposition to the NDAA in other states.
The legislation “is inimical to the liberty, security and well-being of the people,” the Tenth Amendment Center states, “and was adopted by the United States Congress in violation of the limits of federal power in United States Constitution.”