Posts tagged FBI

FBI Data Center Raid Disrupts Instapaper

(NEW YORK) — Instapaper, a service that stores web pages for offline viewing, recently experienced a significant reduction in performance. While performance issues frequently plague small Internet companies, Instapaper’s troubles may have been analogue, not digital.

This afternoon founder and developer Marco Arment reported on his blog that Instapaper servers were seized by the FBI during a raid on his web host’s data center. Mr. Arment cites a New York Times report that the FBI were involved with a raid on a data center in Virginia leased by DigitalOne, a Switzerland-based web hosting company, on the morning of June 21st. A press release issued by the FBI appears to confirm that the raid took place.

ABC News has reached out to Mr. Arment for a comment. According to Mr. Arment’s blog post and subsequently confirmed by the New York Times, Instapaper’s involvement was only incidental. The FBI seized over two dozen servers as a part of larger investigation of the LulzSecurity hacker group.

According to the FBI, “warrants obtained from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and elsewhere throughout the United States led to the seizure of 22 computers and servers in the United States that were involved in facilitating and operating a scareware scheme.”

Instapaper has been able to rebound from the raid. However, recent cyber-attacks allegedly lead by groups such as Anonymous and LulzSecurity have increased public awareness of Internet security. Tuesday’s FBI raid may have a similar effect on the legal status of web data.

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Dan Patterson

Memorial Day Outrage: Feds on Lookout for Fake War Heroes

(WASHINGTON) — As millions of Americans honor the service and sacrifices of veterans this Memorial Day, the FBI said it will be busy keeping a close eye out for reports of “frauds” who don fake medals and tell tales of false heroism in hopes of taking advantage of honest patriotism.

While at any particular time the FBI is investigating from 15 to 30 cases of people illegally posing as American war heroes, the Bureau said public veteran celebrations, like the parades taking place across the nation Monday, are ripe targets for impostors.

"They’re going to come out of the woodwork," Don Shipley, a private watchdog and former U.S. Navy SEAL, told ABC News. "This is like Christmas for a phony."

Wearing a service medal or claiming to be a medal winner is illegal under U.S. law in most cases and in the past five years alone the Department of Justice has charged dozens of people for violations — including five so far this year.

In addition to FBI investigators, private veteran watchdogs like Shipley and Home of Heroes founder Doug Sterner say they receive thousands of tips about questionable military service claims, especially on patriotic holidays.

"We always see them come out in droves on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and the Fourth of July and I don’t expect this year will be any different," Sterner said.

Following the fame garnered by the U.S. Navy SEALs after the successful operation that killed Osama bin Laden in early May, the number of fake SEAL cases skyrocketed, Shipley said.

"U.S. military medals are symbols of heroism, patriotism, and honor," the FBI said in a statement to ABC News. "The FBI is proud of the men and women who have served our country dutifully. Those who impersonate veterans or wear an unearned military medal are frauds and demean what the medals are meant to honor."

Despite several convictions for fakers in past years, a group of U.S. congressmen is pushing to expand the law under a new version of the Stolen Valor Act, which would make it illegal for anyone to benefit in any way from lying about military medals — from getting a free beer at a bar to season sports tickets.

A previous iteration of the Stolen Valor Act, passed with overwhelming congressional support in 2006, made it illegal for anyone to wear a medal or claim they had been awarded a medal when they had not. However, that law was ruled unconstitutional by one appeals court last August after one man who pleaded guilty to falsely claiming to be a decorated Marine said it violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.

"What this bill would do is that it makes it more of an anti-fraud bill," said Congressman and U.S. Army Reserve Col. Joe Heck, who sponsors the Stolen Valor Act of 2011. "It says if you lie about your military service in order to gain something of value then you have committed fraud. I think it will close the constitutionality loophole that has caused problems for the original law.

"I find it really deplorable that individuals would try and capitalize on other American service to their nation," he said.

Shipley said he strongly supports Heck’s bill and he believed other veterans would as well.

"There’s got to be a line drawn somewhere," he said. "Not just for the young Army guys and young Marines, but the parents, the kids, the wives — they [the impostors] are stealing honor from all these people."

More National News From ABC News Radio -»

FBI Probes Unabomber Connection to Tylenol Murders

(CHICAGO) — Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, offered to provide DNA samples to help the FBI in their investigation of the 1982 Tylenol murders, but if — and only if — the government did not go forward with an online auction of his personal effects, the convicted killer said in court documents. 

The government, however, went ahead with the auction Wednesday in which various possessions of Kaczynski’s, from his infamous anti-technology hand-written manifesto to his typewriter, are currently fetching thousands of dollars. 

"Kaczynski has not been indicted in connection with the Chicago Tylenol investigation, and no such federal prosecution is currently planned," the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in its own court filing in response to Kaczynski’s. "Consequently, there is no basis for an order interfering with the sale previously approved by the district court, as directed by the court of appeals." 

The FBI said Kaczynski was among “numerous individuals” from whom the Bureau tried to obtain voluntary DNA samples as part of a reexamination of the 1982 killings in which seven Chicago residents ingested Tylenol capsules laced with deadly cyanide. 

A week before the auction, Kaczynski filed court papers claiming he had nothing to do with the crime and agreeing to provide the sample should his possessions remain private until his death. 

"I have never even possessed any potassium cyanide," he wrote. "But, even on the assumption that the FBI is entirely honest (an assumption I’m unwilling to make), partial DNA profiles can throw suspicion on person who are entirely innocent." 

Kaczynski asserted that if he is a suspect and his DNA profile is related to the 1982 killings, “some of the evidence seized from my cabin in 1986 may turn out to be important,” apparently referring to some of the objects up for auction. 

Kaczynski is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted in 1998 for killing three people and injuring over 20 others in a mail bombing spree that spanned two decades. 

The proceeds from the auction will serve as part of the “effort to pay $15 million restitution order to the victims [of Kaczynski’s crimes] and their families,” according to the government auction website. 

The FBI announced it was making a reexamination of the Tylenol case in 2009 “given the many recent advances in forensic technology” and new tips which had been called in on the 25th anniversary of the murders two years before. 

The Sacramento Bee first reported on the court filing. 

More National News From ABC News Radio -»

Obama Wants FBI Director Mueller for Two More Years

(WASHINGTON) — President Obama wants FBI Director Robert Mueller to stay on the job for another two years, and has asked Congress for permission to extend what is typically a 10-year term.

“In his ten years at the FBI, Bob Mueller has set the gold standard for leading the Bureau,” the president said in a statement Thursday. “Given the ongoing threats facing the United States, as well as the leadership transitions at other agencies like the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency, I believe continuity and stability at the FBI is critical at this time.”

“I am grateful for [Mueller’s] leadership,” Obama said, “and ask Democrats and Republicans in Congress to join together in extending that leadership for the sake of our nation’s safety and security.”

Mueller’s term is set to expire on September 4. 

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World News: A First Look: Eat Your Veggies + Kinect for Surgery?

Some headlines to get your Wednesday started off right

/via @abcworldnews:

- Watch Diane Sawyer’s entire interview with Mark Kelly; Hear how Kelly first heard the news

- FBI find pipe bomb on MLK parade route in Washington state

- Obama hosts Hu at State Dinner tonight

- New study says heart disease…