US watchdog to probe FBI Clinton email actions

Source: BBC

A US government watchdog has launched an investigation into actions taken by the FBI during the election campaign.

FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server 11 days before the election shook up the race.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he would look into “certain actions” by the FBI and DoJ.

Mrs Clinton was cleared of any wrongdoing days before the US voted.

Her campaign team has blamed the FBI announcement as a key factor why she lost the election to Donald Trump.

The announcement on Thursday does not mention Hillary Clinton by name but refers to public disclosures by Mr Comey.

Mr Horowitz said his review would look at a news conference in July 2016 when Mr Comey said he would not recommend charges for Mrs Clinton.

A letter to Congress on 28 October, in which Mr Comey said there were more emails to look at, will also be subject to this new inquiry.

An explosive move – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

It seems the 2016 election isn’t going to go gently into that good night. Thanks to this decision by the Justice Department inspector general, one of the more controversial moments of the recently concluded presidential campaign is going to be given closer scrutiny.

Hillary Clinton and her campaign team say FBI Director James Comey’s two interventions close to election day cost her the presidency. It certainly knocked the Democrat off her stride and dominated headlines, allowing Donald Trump – who had been staggered by sexual harassment allegations – to regain his political footing.

They also contend that the action violated Justice Department guidelines and was an overtly partisan act from a law enforcement agency that should be apolitical. Perhaps they will view this announcement as bittersweet vindication.

The scope of the review covers more than just Mr Comey’s actions throughout the campaign, however. It will also address concerns expressed by Republicans that some lower-level FBI officials may have improperly shared information with the Clinton campaign.

Depending on how this investigation is conducted, and the conclusions it draws, the fuse may have just been lit on a stick of political dynamite that will explode later in the year.

The inspector general said his investigation had come in response to “numerous” requests from the public and from members of Congress.

Mrs Clinton said she had set up a home email server for reasons of convenience, but admitted it was a mistake.

In clearing her in July, the FBI said Mrs Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in handling classified materials.

But there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing, it said.

Then in October they briefly reopened the investigation after finding new related emails from top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

They were found on a laptop belonging to her estranged husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, but nothing was found on them and the case was closed for a second time.

Hillary Clinton Calls on the FBI to ‘Immediately’ Release Information About Her Newly Discovered Emails — TIME

Hillary Clinton on Friday evening called for the FBI to release all the information it has about the additional emails relating to her private email server. The Democratic nominee’s request came hours after FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers the FBI is examining newly discovered emails relating to Clinton’s server to determine whether they contain…

via Hillary Clinton Calls on the FBI to ‘Immediately’ Release Information About Her Newly Discovered Emails — TIME

Trump Advisor Under Investigation for Russia Ties: Report — Foreign Policy

Amid investigation of Trump advisers’ alleged promises to Moscow, his GOP boosters stay mum.

via Trump Advisor Under Investigation for Russia Ties: Report — Foreign Policy

FBI Director Says You Should Cover Your Webcam With Tape! Here’s Why!

Sources:The Daily Mail, Global News, BBC, Engadget

James Comey’s computer must be equipped with some pretty heavy security software. But that doesn’t stop the FBI director from covering his webcam with tape. Why? Because he knows, perhaps better than anyone on the planet, what hackers can do.

“There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them,” Comey said.

“You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen. They all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so people who don’t have authority don’t look at you.”

Wait, what? That’s just a conspiracy, isn’t it? Can people actually do that?

Oh yes they can. For several years now, technology has existed that allows people to discretely access and turn on your webcam from anywhere on the planet. Thousands of people learned about this the hard way in 2014, when hackers set up a website showcasing a multitude of live webcam streams from around the world.

Just this month, hackers broke into a Canadian couple’s webcam as they were cuddling and watching Netflix. The hackers bypassed their webcam’s ‘on’ light completely.

“We obviously had no idea it was taking place in the moment, but retroactively it was like a really, really deeply creepy feeling,” one of the victims told Global News. “It was very unnerving. I mean it does feel like there’s someone just in your home with you.”

This also happened to Miss Teen USA, who was tormented for more than a year by a webcam hacker who tried to blackmail her with nude images.

This stuff is real, folks. Have a look at the video below to hear more from FBI director James Comey on the topic of webcam security.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you cover your webcam? Let us know in the comments!


Teen Who Disappeared During Spring Break Raped and Fed to Alligators: FBI — TIME

A New York teenager who vanished during a spring break trip seven years ago may have been adducted, gang-raped and shot before she was fed to alligators, an FBI agent said. Authorities have not been able to find Brittanee Drexel since she disappeared from Myrtle Beach in 2009 when she was 17. FBI Agent Gerrick…

via Teen Who Disappeared During Spring Break Raped and Fed to Alligators: FBI — TIME

FBI says state election boards targeted by hackers — TechCrunch

The FBI warned states to check the security of their election systems after hackers stole voter data from one state election board earlier this summer and attempted to access another this month. The attacks were revealed in an FBI bulletin sent to the agency’s private industry partners and obtained by Yahoo News. One state’s election…

via FBI says state election boards targeted by hackers — TechCrunch

FBI built a massive facial recognition database without proper oversight — TechCrunch

The FBI steadily, stealthily compiled a massive facial recognition database without oversight and in disregard of federal law, according to a report released today by the Government Accountability Office. The bombshell report reveals that the FBI dipped into driver’s license photo databases from 16 states, as well as passport and visa photo databases from the…

via FBI built a massive facial recognition database without proper oversight — TechCrunch