"Do you go camping or play paintball?" and 47 other questions from the FBI's secret terrorist-detection questionnaire

The Intercept "obtained a copy" of the FBI's 48-question, 2015 "Indicators of Mobilization to Violence" protocol, a list of 48 questions that FBI investigators can use to determine if a subject is at risk for committing terrorist acts. Read the rest

Trump's FBI doubles down on hostility to transparency, switches to fax and snailmail for FOIA requests

The FBI has always been hostile to Freedom of Information Act requests: it habitually violates the law by allowing these requests to go more than 30 days without a response, and maintains a lab full of 1980s-vintage computers that it uses to (badly) fulfill public records request, so that it can reject requests on the basis that it lacks the technology to respond to them. But it's about to get a whole lot worse. Read the rest

FBI offers employers alerts when their employees are arrested, regardless of charges or convictions

The FBI's Rap Back ("Record of Arrest and Prosecution Background") system is a service that employers can use to continuously monitor their employees' criminal and arrest records, getting alerts when an employee with a "clean" record is alleged to have gotten into some kind of trouble. Read the rest

Russia's slot-machine bans let criminals buy machines on the cheap and reverse-engineer them

In 2009, then-PM Vladimir Putin engineered a Russian ban on slot machines in a bid to starve Georgian mafiyeh of funds, the resulting glut of used slots gave Russia's own criminal gangs cheap testbeds to use in a project to reverse-engineer the machines and discover their weaknesses -- now, Russian gangs roam the world's casinos, racking up careful, enormous scores. Read the rest

Leaked FBI manual reveals agency targets innocents as informants, blackmails them into cooperating, can deport them afterwards

Today, The Intercept has published a minimally redacted version of a 2015 edition of the FBI's Confidential Human Source Policy Guide, along with a series of in-depth articles reporting on the document (including the FBI's confirmation of a conspiracy by white supremacists to infiltrate law enforcement agencies). Among the most explosive revelations are the ways in which the FBI coerces domestic and foreign informants. Read the rest

FBI releases declassified #GamerGate dossier

The FBI has released a heavily redacted 173-page PDF of GamerGate documents under FOIA. Much of the material has any identifying information stripped out, but it's clear that many of them are explicit threats and other harassment. Read the rest

FBI and ODNI now back CIA's assessment that Russia hacked U.S. election for Trump win

Federal Bureau of Investigations chief James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper today indicated the FBI and ODNI support a recent CIA assessment that Russia committed internet attacks targeted at America's elections, with the intent in part being to help Donald Trump win.

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EFF battles misleading, sloppy, secret FBI warrants aimed at the Internet Archive and CREDO

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has disclosed that it has won two key victories for clients who'd received the FBI's notorious, gag-ordered National Security Letters -- a form of secret warrant that has become the go-to way for law enforcement to avoid scrutiny since the Patriot Act's passage. Read the rest

As Trump's racist regime takes power, FBI reports a surge in hate crimes against Muslims and others

The FBI today reported that hate attacks on Muslims in America are surging, as “a wave of racially charged assaults, graffiti attacks and other episodes” sweeps the country in the days since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential elections.

Trump finally said something about the spike in racist attacks by whites on people of color during a “60 Minutes” interview broadcast on Sunday night.

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Edward Snowden to Trump campaign: "old laptops" could vet 800,000 emails in "minutes-to-hours"

As the FBI announced that it had reviewed the emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop and determined that there was no incriminating material about Hillary Clinton on them, the Trump campaign roared with incredulity, insisting that it was inconceivable that the FBI could have vetted 800,000 emails in 8 days. Read the rest

Teen who allegedly got sexts from Weiner writes an open letter to Comey

The teenager who allegedly received texts from Anthony Weiner wrote an open letter to FBI director James Comey to let him know that his sloppy, sleazy actions violated her privacy. "I now add you to the list of people who have victimized me," she writes.

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"Fuck You, James Comey" a song by Jonathan Mann

Even though he was suffering from a head cold, Jonathan Mann powered through it to compose and perform his song, "Fuck You, James Comey." The song expresses his feelings for the director of an organization with a sordid history of corruption, paranoia, and racism. Read the rest

FBI clears Clinton: "new" emails were duplicates, irrelevant

The FBI has cleared Hillary Clinton over the "new" emails found on disgraced Democratic politician Anthony Weiner's seized computer. The emails, which the FBI thought may be relevant to an earlier investigation of Clinton's inappropriate use of a private email server while in office, turned out to be mostly duplicates of those already covered by the investigation.

FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Sunday the agency hasn't changed its opinion that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges after a review of new emails.

"Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July," Comey wrote in the new letter to congressional committee chairmen. Comey dropped a bombshell on the presidential race last month when he sent a letter to Congress saying the FBI had discovered emails in a separate investigation that could be connected to the now-closed probe of whether Clinton mishandled classified information. The move infuriated Democrats and emboldened Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The announcement brings to an end a week of political chaos triggered by Comey's vague letter insinuating—at least to Republicans and the media—that Clinton once again risked legal sanction over the personal email account. Comey, in an oddly Comey-centered press event earlier this summer, then described the private email server as inappropriate but not something worthy of indictment.

In the days that followed Comey's letter to congress, sent barely two weeks before election day, even Clinton's foes found themselves discomfited by the FBI's exquisitely-timed involvement in domestic politics. Trump, though, exalted as polls tightened: though Clinton still leads, the possibility of a landslide (or indeed a Democrat Senate) is now deemed less likely by poll trackers. Read the rest

Former Attorney General: FBI Director "made a serious mistake"

Last week, FBI director James Comey released a vague letter saying the FBI was investigating more emails that had something to do with Hillary Clinton's personal server. The media largely ran with the GOP characterization of this as reopened investigation into Clinton herself, but things soon got muddy and even conservative commentators found the situation deeply unsettling.

For starters, the emails were on disgraced politician Anthony Weiner's computer, impounded in his teen sext case, meaning Clinton's authorship or receipt of the emails is anyone's guess. Worse, it soon became clear the FBI had failed to get a warrant to read the emails before Comey's announcement, giving the impression of an attempt to tip the election, or of appeasement to political pressures. Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General until last year, writes that Comey's made a "serious mistake." Read the rest

FBI gets warrant to search Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin's email

Hillary Clinton's email woes won't die.

Federal investigators today obtained a fiercely-sought warrant to begin searching a large cache of emails sent to or from Huma Abedin, longtime confidante and senior aide to Hillary Clinton. Federal law enforcement officials told reporters the warrant was in on Sunday, as prosecutors with the Justice Department and agents from the F.B.I. rushed to review as much of the emails as possible before Election Day, which is now only one week away.

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FBI hunts suspect in rare analog espionage case targeting Houston energy firm

With so many recent reports of hacks, software theft, and cloud-based security breaches, this "physical world" espionage case seems all the more mysterious.

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Yahoo secretly built a tool to scan all email in realtime for US spies

In 2015, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer ordered the company's engineers to build a tool that scanned Yahoo Mail messages in realtime for "characters" of interest to a US security agency, either the FBI or the NSA. Read the rest

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