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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Justice’

Crime-Fighting Armored Glove

May 31, 2011 Comments off

popsci

The Armor Sleeve Defuses confrontations and prevents potentially violent situations John B. Carnett

A robber is cornered in a dead-end alley. He turns to face the police officer pursuing him, ready to fight. He pauses. The officer’s left forearm is encased in ballistic nylon, and half a million volts arc menacingly between electrodes on his wrist. A green laser target lands on the robber’s chest. He puts his hands up; it’s a fight he can’t win.

For police and corrections officers, preventing and defusing confrontations can save lives, and that’s the premise behind the BodyGuard. Equipped with a highvoltage stunner, video camera, laser pointer and flashlight, the armor sleeve is intended to prevent violent situations. The invention was designed by David Brown, a cameraman, editor and producer who makes a living filming musical acts such as Rage Against the Machine and Snoop Dogg, as well as behindthe-scenes movie footage for the actor Kevin Costner, a friend and BodyGuard investor.
Brown developed the concept for the device one evening in 2004, when he and some friends were discussing a recent mountain lion attack in a nearby Orange County park that had left one cyclist dead and Read more…

California releases 450 ‘violent and dangerous’ criminals after computer glitch sets them free

May 27, 2011 Comments off

Hundreds of violent and dangerous prisoners have been released on unsupervised parole in California because of a computer glitch, according to the state’s inspector general.

Software errors led prison officials to mistakenly release some 450 inmates deemed to have a ‘high risk for violence’, as part of a programme meant to ease overcrowding in the state’s jails.

And more than 1,000 additional convicts said to present a high risk of committing drugs crimes, property crimes and other offences were also freed.

Overcrowded: Hundreds of violent criminals have been released from prison early on unsupervised parole after a computer error Overcrowded: Hundreds of violent criminals have been released from prison early on unsupervised parole after a computer error

The news comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s prisons are dangerously overcrowded, and upheld a ruling giving the state two years to slash prisoner numbers.

No attempt has since been made to return any of the offenders to prison or to put them on supervised parole schemes, inspector general spokesman Renee Hansen told the LA Times.

All of the released prisoners have been placed on so-called ‘non-revocable parole’ – meaning that they do not have to report to parole officers and can only be sent back to prison if they are caught committing another crime.

Inmates who are gang members, sex criminals or violent criminals are determined to pose a risk of re-offending and are not thought to be suitable for the scheme.

But a report by the inspector general found that the computer programme that officials Read more…

DOJ letter to Texas: ‘TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight …’

May 25, 2011 Comments off

lonestarreport

The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to House and Texas Senate leaders Tuesday — reportedly in person — threatening a shut-down of airports if HB 1937 is passed.

The letter claims Rep. David Simpson’s (R-Longview) anti-TSA-groping bill is against federal law and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. We include the text of the DOJ’s letter, as well as a portion of Simpson’s reply, below.
May 24, 2011

[On U.S. Department of Justice, Western District of Texas, stationery. Addressed to Speaker Joe Straus, Dewhurst, the House Clerk and the Senate Secretary]

Dear Leaders,

I write with regard to HB 1937, which I understand will imminently be presented to the Texas Senate for a vote.

This office, as well as the Southern, Northern, and Eastern District of Texas United States Attorneys, would like to advise you of the significant leagal and practical problems that will be created if the bill becomes law. As you are no doubt aware, the bill makes it a crime for a federal transportation official (“TSO”) to perform the security screening that he or she is authorized and required by federal law to perform. The proposed legislation would make it unlawful for a federal agent such as a TSO to perform certain specified searches for the purpose of granting access to a publicly accessible building or form of transportation. That provision would thus criminalize searches Read more…

Feds to Supreme Court: Allow Warrantless GPS Monitoring

April 22, 2011 Comments off

wired.com

The Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.

The Justice Department, saying “a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements (.pdf) from one place to another,” is demanding the justices undo a lower court decision that reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month without a court warrant.

The petition, if accepted by the justices, arguably would make it the biggest Fourth Amendment case in a decade — one weighing the collision of Read more…

Twitter must give user info in WikiLeaks probe

March 12, 2011 Comments off

hosted.ap.org

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal magistrate ruled Friday that prosecutors can demand Twitter account information of certain users in their criminal probe into the disclosure of classified documents on WikiLeaks.

The prosecutors’ reasons for seeking the records remain secret and it’s unknown how important they are to the investigation of the largest leak ever of classified American documents.

The Twitter users argued that the government was on a fishing expedition that amounted to an unconstitutional violation of their freedoms of speech and association.

But in a ruling issued Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Carroll Buchanan said the government’s request was reasonable and did nothing to hamper the Twitter users’ free speech Read more…

Suspected Terrorist Had NYC in His Sights

February 24, 2011 Comments off

A 20-year-old Saudi student arrested in Texas on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack with explosive chemicals had looked at New York City as a possible target.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, attending college near Lubbock, Texas, was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

“It is war … until the infidels leave defeated,” the chemical engineering student wrote in online postings.

Federal prosecutors said he had researched online how to construct an improvised explosive device using several chemicals as ingredients.

Court papers said Aldawsari had been researching New York City, including viewing real-time traffic cameras online that showed the city.

The FBI said he also had looked up the Dallas home of Read more…

How Close Are We to a Nano-based Surveillance State?

February 22, 2011 Comments off

Michael Edwards
Activist Post

In the span of just three years, we have seen drone surveillance become openly operational on American soil.

In 2007, Texas reporters first filmed a predator drone test being conducted by the local police department in tandem with Homeland Security.  And in 2009, it was revealed that an operation was underway to use predator drones inland over major cities, far from “border control” functions.  This year it has been announced that not only will drone operations fly over the Mexican border, but the United States and Canada are partnering to cover 900 miles of the northern border as well.

Now that the precedent has been set to employ drones over non-combat areas, the military is further revealing the technology of miniaturization that they currently have at their disposal.  As drone expert, P.W. Singer said, “At this point, it doesn’t really matter if you are against the technology, because it’s coming.”  According to Singer, “The miniaturization of drones is where it really gets interesting.  You can use these things anywhere, put them anyplace, and the target will never even know they’re Read more…