An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI)
is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. An IMSI catcher is a device, used by the NSA drone program
, the police
, Chinese spammers
and spies all around Washington DC
and the world
to spoof the identity of a GSM cell tower and intercept cellular voice and data communication. They come in
all sizes and flavors, from tiny
professional surveillance devices, to easy to order off the shelf solutions
, to Chinese DIY
(links in Chinese) and have spawned efforts to retaliate with an IMSI-catcher-catcher
. IMSI-catcher technology has become increasingly widespread
, with far-reaching constitutional
The FBI has recently released details
on how the Silk Road
black market was taken down. [more inside]
In one of the most damning Snowden leaks yet revealed, Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain show that the NSA targets prominent Muslim-Americans
under the FISA secret court program. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has in response issued a denial
that any Americans were targeted for exercising their constitutional rights via its tumblr.
The FBI will continue to get to refer to Juggalos as a gang. "A federal judge has dismissed Insane Clown Posse's lawsuit against the FBI and the Justice Department, allowing the agencies to continue classifying the group's fans, called Juggalos, as a "gang." According to the Associated Press's Tuesday report, U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland ruled last week that because a 2011 FBI report on gangs is "descriptive," and not " prescriptive," it doesn't break any laws." Violent J plans to appeal. [more inside]
I was sitting NIFOC and TLOL when I ran across this list of Internet slang [PDF]
developed for FBI agents trying to navigate Twitter's ARE. [more inside]
Malcolm Gladwell writes a compelling take on the history of the Branch Davidians
and how their millennial Christian beliefs led to their ultimate confrontation with the FBI. "I came out the little driveway on the side of the building and got onto the main driveway that ran along the front of the building. As I turned the corner . . . one of the agents outside a tank started screaming at me to come over to him. My left ankle was all blistered, the skin was rolling off my hands, and my face was burned down the right side of my neck where the mask had been. I guess I took the mask off after I got out. It was kind of melting onto my face. . . . He was cussing me out, telling me if I made a false move he was going to blow my so-and-so head off. But he said: you’re gonna remember this day for the rest of your life. I thought: at least that is a true statement.
" [more inside]
Stephen Colbert, as "Stephen Colbert" gave the closing keynote speech at the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco. While this speech has not been made officially available, it has been posted in its entirety to YouTube. Part 1, Part 2
[total length <20m] [warning - audience video of conference hall video screens -- content overcomes video shortcomings]
Ibragim was a womanizer. He was kind to children. He had a sweet tooth, and a temper.
Who killed three men in Waltham, Massachusetts, on September 11 2011? And could solving that case have prevented the Boston Bombings? The answers may never be clear, because the chief surviving suspect, Ibragim Todashev, was shot by the FBI while allegedly on the brink of confessing. Journalist Susan Zalkind
's investigation turned up many more questions about the Bureau's handling of the case than it answered. It's also been featured on This American Life
the first link contains photos of Todashev's dead body.
During their Freedom Hosting
investigation and malware attack last year, the FBI unintentionally obtained the entire e-mail database of popular anonymous webmail service Tor Mail. And now, they've used it in an unrelated investigation to bust a Florida man accused of stealing credit card numbers
. [more inside]
About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem
. [more inside]
One night in 1971, files were stolen from an F.B.I. office near Philadelphia. They proved that the bureau was spying on thousands of Americans. The case was unsolved, until now.
(article + video interview) The perfect crime is far easier to pull off when nobody is watching. So on a night nearly 43 years ago, while Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bludgeoned each other over 15 rounds in a televised title bout viewed by millions around the world, burglars took a lock pick and a crowbar and broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia, making off with nearly every document inside. They were never caught, and the stolen documents that they mailed anonymously to newspaper reporters were the first trickle of what would become a flood of revelations about extensive spying and dirty-tricks operations by the F.B.I. against dissident groups.
The case was unsolved, until now.
The FBI files on being and nothingness.
"From 1945 onwards, J Edgar Hoover’s FBI spied on Camus and Sartre
. The investigation soon turned into a philosophical inquiry…" [Via]
"Saddam had his spider hole. Manson had Barker Ranch. For James “Whitey” Bulger, the anonymity of advanced age provided ample cover for him to hide out 16 years in Santa Monica, a stash of blood money stuffed in the walls and guns at the ready." The last days of America’s most wanted mobster.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation has seized the domain of the popular online black market site Silk Road
), and indicted the site's owner, Ross Ulbricht, better known as Dread Pirate Roberts (previously
The FBI yesterday acknowledged
that it secretly took control of Freedom Hosting last July, days before the servers of the largest provider of ultra-anonymous hosting were found to be serving custom malware designed to identify visitors. [more inside]
"Maria Ridulph was 7 when she was kidnapped from a street corner in Sycamore, Illinois, on December 3, 1957. Her kidnapping and murder is the nation's oldest cold case to go to trial. It required family members to turn against one of their own and haunted a small town for 55 years. Even now, the case may not be over." CNN: Taken: The Coldest Case Ever Solved [more inside]
Thanks to the FBI, he has a vast — and accurate — archive of the time. "If I have a fuzzy memory or hazy memory, I look at it, and there's a verbatim transcript of the conversations.
Clarence Jones, Dr Martin Luther King's legal advisor, talks to NPR about working with Dr King, the metaphor he supplied to the "I have a dream" speech and the extent of the surveillance of King and his associates by the US security establishment. [more inside]
The X-Files 20th anniversary reunion panel at San Diego Comic-Con
(Youtube) (Podcast version here
) (Summary and slideshow
), featuring Chris Carter, Vince Gilligan, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, Jim Wong, John Shiban, Howard Gordon and James Amann. sex scenes
, a third movie
are discussed. The Lone Gunmen
will return in Season 10
. The Guardian picks 13 best X-Files episodes
but somehow misses Jose Chung's From Outer Space
In a crackdown that FBI claims to be about hunting down pedophiles, half of the onion sites in the TOR network has been compromised, including the e-mail counterpart of TOR deep web, TORmail.
FreedomWeb, an Irish company known for providing hosting for Tor "hidden services" -- services reached over the Tor anonymized/encrypted network -- has shut down after its owner, Eric Eoin Marques, was arrested over allegations that he had facilitated the spread of child pornography. [more inside]
is a song with a curious history. Inspired by (and/or partially copied from) El Loco Cha Cha by Rene Touzet and Havana Moon by Chuck Berry
(YouTube), the original song by Richard Berry and The Pharaohs
(YT) is a mix of calypso, cha-cha, and rhythm & blues. The next version was by Rockin' Robin Roberts & The Wailers
(YT), which added a certain rock and roll swagger that will sound more familiar to most folks. But the vocals are all wrong, as they're too sharp, too easy to understand. The Kingsmen made the version
everyone was talking about, with concerns of obscene lyrics getting the FBI involved
(choice excerpts on The Smoking Gun
). [more inside]
For 30 years, an ex-con drifter from Saskatchewan named Dennis Melvyn Howe has eluded police in connection with the abduction, rape and murder of a 9 year old Toronto girl
. In 2008, an Idaho man named Robert James Miller wrote two long, bizarre posts
on the forum at unsolvedcanada.ca. He claimed to have identified Howe and turned him in after seeing a 1998 episode of America's Most Wanted. The FBI is now investigating the possibility that Miller himself is Dennis Melvyn Howe. [more inside]
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon."
So what can you do? Use some alternatives
. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo
, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over.
The identity of the hacker KYAnonymous aka KnightSec, who exposed the Steubenville rapists has been uncovered
as cybersecurity expert and aspiring rapper Deric Lostutter after being raided by the FBI
. If he is convicted for hacking-related crimes, he could spend up to ten years in prison, more time than the rapists. His story is here
and an interview here
. [more inside]
Washington Post: NSA and FBI are mining data from nine major tech companies in formerly secret program.
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored, with Dropbox "coming soon". The program, called PRISM, is reportedly the most prolific contributor to the President's Daily Brief.
Our American Pravda.
A provocative essay on the flaws of the American media by the editor and publisher of the American Conservative, Ron Unz
allusions to conspiracy theories
condemnation of Soviet spies (and a kind word for Joe McCarthy),
criticism of the FBI,
approving quotations of Paul Krugman,
fresh questions about the moral character of John McCain and his fitness for office,
disapproving descriptions of the Obama administration as "Bush's thrid term,"
and a broadside against the selling of the Iraq war calling it the "greatest strategic disaster in United States history." [more inside]
"In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990 – as the city was preoccupied with Saint Patrick's Day celebrations – a pair of thieves disguised themselves as Boston police officers, gained entry
to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
, and stole thirteen works of art
"The stolen works have a total estimated worth of around $500 million, making the robbery the largest property theft ever"*
and "considered the greatest art theft in history."*
Today the FBI announced that they have identified the people who stole
the masterworks. They also said they had determined where the artworks had traveled in the years after the robbery. The FBI said they did not know where they were now and were appealing to the public for their help in finding them
. The Gardner Museum is offering a reward of $5 million
for information leading to the recovery of these works.
Death in Singapore
The body of a young US electronics engineer, Shane Todd, was found hanging in his Singapore apartment. Police said it was suicide, but the Todd family believe he was murdered. Shane had feared that a project he was working on was compromising US national security. His parents want to know if that project sent him to his grave.
"FBI files on Marilyn Monroe
that could not be located earlier this year have been found and re-issued, revealing the names of some of the movie star’s communist-leaning acquaintances who drew concern from government officials and her own entourage." [more inside]
What does proper authorization to access a computer system mean?
Robert Graham of Errata Security writes about the recent conviction of Andrew Auernheimer (aka weev)
for “hacking” AT&T. Two years ago, weev discovered a bug
in AT&T's website that exposed the email addresses of customers with iPads. According to weev, the flaw was reported as per responsible disclosure practices by first informing AT&T before bringing it public. However the FBI investigated and arrested him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). On 20th November 2012, he was found guilty
of identity fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization.
Barrett Brown (previously
, researcher, and activist
formerly associated with Anonymous, was raided
at his Dallas home on September 12 and brought into Federal custody in Texas. Video and audio of the raid exist, as Brown was hosting a video chat at the time of the raid. (Brown's girlfriend was present during the raid and has published a partial account
.) Brown now faces indictment
on counts related to his comments about an individual FBI agent in three Youtube videos
he had posted in the day before his arrest, and to some of his recent tweets (including a retweet of a Fox News commentator's 2010 remark
about Julian Assange). [more inside]
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator
(2:05:16) [Globe scene
and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech
], The Immigrant
(20:01), The Gold Rush
(1:11:49), City Lights
(1:22:40), Modern Times
(1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux
(1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's
movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
hacking group claims to have released a set
of more than 1 million Apple Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) allegedly obtained from breaching an FBI agent's laptop
via a Java vulnerability. The group claims to have over 12 million IDs, as well as personal information such as user names, device names, notification tokens, cell phone numbers and addresses. There's a tool
to help you check if your device is in the list. [more inside]
At the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos
, the Insane Clown Posse announced their intention
of suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation over their recent designation of the ICP fan base as a hybrid gang
. The band established Juggalos fight back
to gather information regarding government harassment of the Juggalo population.
"Though now almost forgotten, the case of “the Chickens and the Bulls” as the NYPD called it
(or “Operation Homex,” to the FBI), still stands as the most far-flung, most organized, and most brazen example of homosexual extortion in the nation’s history. And while the Stonewall riot in June 1969 is considered by many to be the pivotal moment in gay civil rights, this case represents an important crux too, marking the first time that the law enforcement establishment actually worked on behalf of victimized gay men, instead of locking them up or shrugging." [more inside]
In July 2007, NPR published a two part series
(direct links: 1
) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation
. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf)
from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime,"
NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings
. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
Last year, Wired
reported that 'The FBI is teaching
its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”' (previously
The FBI pledged reform, but the materials appeared to be deeply embedded
. After the President ordered
a review, the FBI 'purged'
the documents from training materials.
Earlier this year Wired
reported that 'U.S. Military Taught Officers
: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam.' [more inside]
Informant, former wiseguy
Henry Hill (website
) has been made dead by illness
. He was not a schnook.
The Feynman Files.
For the first time, FBI records for Dr Richard Feynman have been released to the public
. They document the Bureau's apparent obsession in the 1950's with outing him as a communist sympathizer, and include notations from several background checks as well as interviews with his colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
The FBI has orchestrated "14 out of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks [on U.S. soil] since 9/11"
according to the NY Times' counting. As noted previously
though, Mother Jones' investigative report found that "all [but three] of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings"
and one third of terrorist defendants
were actually led by an FBI agent provocateur, often outside contractors
A Rolling Stone blogger has now called out the FBI for "singling out ideological enemies [of the State]"
, including the FBI's recent
Ohio bridge plot, while ignoring much more dangerous right wing groups, including white supremacists. [more inside]
If you're a DVD/BluRay viewer who is already annoyed by delaying, annoying animated menus or previews, get ready for 20 additional seconds of wait time
. Yesterday the U.S. government announced an update to the old FBI copyright warning on home video, which will now appear in the form of two different anti-piracy warnings, each ten seconds long and both unskippable
According to an FBI press release
and various news sources
, five "self-proclaimed anarchists" were arrested in connection with an alleged plot to blow up an Ohio bridge
. [more inside]
The 33 year-old search for six-year old Etan Patz, who disappeared walking home from school
for the first time, may finally be over.
After his disappearance, Etan was the first child to appear on a milk carton. [more inside]