House seeks clarity on FBI facial recognition database
by Matt Leonard
The FBI has expanded its access to photo databases and facial recognition technology to support its investigations. Lawmakers, however, have voiced a deep mistrust in the bureau’s ability to protect those images of millions of American citizens and properly follow regulations relating to transparency.
Kimberly Del Greco, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, faced tough questioning from both sides of the aisle at a March 22 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Stop. This is the same privacy issue I have with the utilization of LPR (License Plate Recognition) technology by law enforcement agencies locally and nationally. LPR systems, mounted on the roofs of enforcement vehicles, rapidly collect and analyze visual information, the license plates of vehicles, in order to determine their status, either stolen or wanted due to criminal activity. In essence, there is yet no limitation on what can or must be done with this information. It can and is shared with abandon between agencies — not just law enforcement — and the technology has the ability to track vehicles and place them at certain locations at precise times. Though you, the driver, have committed no crime.
With more LPR systems installed on law enforcement vehicles, the issue of privacy becomes even more impacted. At present there is policy, not law, regarding LPR collection.
The FBI’s use of facial recognition technology was called into question last year after the Government Accountability Office issued a report saying the bureau had not updated its privacy impact assessment when the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System “underwent significant changes.”
Now that you have an idea of the issue at hand, please watch the video in which Jason Chaffetz attempts to acquire some sort of cooperation or sense from Del Greco.
“So here’s the problem,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee chairman. “You’re required by law to put out a privacy statement and you didn’t and now we’re supposed to trust you with hundreds of millions of people’s faces.”
The FBI’s NGI-IPS allows law enforcement agencies to search a database of over 30 million photos to support criminal investigations. The bureau can also access an internal unit called Facial Analysis, Comparison and Evaluation, which can tap other federal photo repositories and databases in 16 states that can include driver’s license photos. Through these databases, the FBI has access to more than 411 million photos of Americans, many of whom have never been convicted of a crime.
Fingerprints, DNA, photographs, license plates. All ways that law enforcement can identify, follow and track you. All of them impacting your privacy.
Jason Chaffetz also revealed a vitally-important aspect of technological programs that collect massive amounts of information: social media. Will it collect from that?
More importantly, who answers when the information becomes corrupted, is erroneous, provides incorrect analysis or becomes hacked, compromised or distributed itself?
The GAO report said the FBI was not testing the accuracy of its system on a regular basis and has not done testing to ensure that the system provides accurate results for “all allowable candidate list sizes.”
Multiple witnesses, including Jennifer Lynch, the senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Alvaro Bedoya, executive director at the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, said that facial recognition technologies have provided false positives more regularly for women, younger individuals and people of color.
“That is due to the training data that is used in facial recognition systems,” Lynch said. “Most facial recognition systems are developed using pretty homogeneous images of people’s faces, so that means mostly whites and men.”
Perfect. A racist system that violates your privacy as well.
The point of displaying the video here on the blog is so that you formulate an idea of how difficult it is to acquire anything even remotely resembling the truth from government agencies and, in this case, the FBI, which is an arm of the Department of Justice. Remember what Jason Chaffetz said:
The FBI’s failure to update the privacy impact assessment, Chaffetz added, was yet another reason not to trust the agency with ordinary Americans’ personal information.
The federal government continually says that its citizens must trust it or there will be a gap of confidence. It implores America to have faith and belief. Yet it does nothing whatsoever to discourage citizens from thinking this way or disabuse us from questioning most everything it does.
What do you truly have as a country when the FBI proves it does not obey the law and, by dint of that, the Department of Justice? The FBI and the rest of the alphabet agencies continue to prove they cannot be trusted as they serially dissemble, dodge, evade, withhold, distract, lie and, moreover, politicize every aspect of their activities.
Then deny it all.
We are coming to a tipping point, ladies and gentlemen, not just here in America but throughout the rest of the world, with regard to big government. We have a trust crisis, a budget crisis and even a crisis of legitimacy.
[Note: I have been away from blogging and my various radio broadcasts since last Sunday, due to the fact that I was smacked with the flu. My apologies. I will be attempting to ramp things up as the days go on.]
When I voted for Donald Trump I did so with my eyes wide open. My vote was cast primarily because he was not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. I also voted for Trump because I sensed he would make more sensible nominations for SCOTUS; first to replace Antonin Scalia then to fill what I suspect will be another two to possibly three additional jurists in the next four years.
I’ll be honest. I can only hope that SCOTUS truly is stacked with moderate or conservative jurists that will keep the court on a common sense track for at least another generation, perhaps two.
As an adult I knew Trump would do things with which I’d disagree. He has done so. From the WashingtonPost.com:
FBI Director James Comey to stay on in Trump administration
by Matt Zapotosky, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller
FBI Director James B. Comey was among the senior U.S. officials who had the unpleasant task of traveling to Trump Tower last month to inform the president-elect that Russia had interfered in the election process to help him win office.
Then Comey asked his colleagues — including the CIA director — to step outside so that he could discuss something even more awkward: a dossier in wide circulation in Washington that alleged that Moscow had gathered compromising financial, political and personal material about the incoming U.S. president.
That Comey was asked after that encounter, described by U.S. officials briefed on its details, to stay on as FBI director speaks to his survival instincts and ability to inspire confidence. But the meeting may also have provided a preview of the perilous position he occupies serving in the Trump administration while his agents pursue investigations that seem to lead to the president’s associates.
That was a poor decision, Donald John Trump, and I believe you’ll regret it. Director Comey allows politics to intervene in critical decisions where politics should be the very last consideration. Case in point: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Make no mistake. James Comey is a country-destroying weasel, first for not recommending the prosecution of Hillary Clinton, and second for not placing Hillary Clinton under oath or recording her in any fashion when interviewed on the July 4th weekend of 2016. There is, thusly, no transcript of her interview. Though that’s general FBI policy, in this critical case, an exception should have been made.
To me it is quite clear that FBI Director James Comey, about whose probity I wrote quite a number of times on the blog, has dishonored his law enforcement oath, showing that he has no fidelity, no bravery and no integrity with regard to his decision to not recommend prosecution of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
But in the July 2016 hearing with Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz as documented at Politico, James Comey revealed his flawed and craven, cowardly political thinking when one is familiar with law enforcement prosecutorial thresholds as I am. First:
Director Comey determined a manner in which to weasel his way out of recommending the prosecution of Clinton. At one hearing he went out of his way — again, just like the previous day — to make his own case and then fall back on a position/decision that isn’t his to make.
FBI director: Clinton’s statements were not true
by Nick Gass
FBI Director James Comey confirmed on Thursday that some of Hillary Clinton’s statements and explanations about her email server to the House Benghazi Committee last October were not true, as evidenced by the bureau’s investigation into whether she mishandled classified information.
During an extended exchange with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Comey affirmed that the FBI’s investigation found information marked classified on her server even after Clinton had said that she had neither sent nor received any items marked classified.
“That is not true,” Comey said. “There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents.”
Asked whether Clinton’s testimony that she did not email “any classified material to anyone on my email” and “there is no classified material” was true, Comey responded, “No, there was classified material emailed.”
“Secretary Clinton said she used one device. Was that true?” Gowdy asked, to which Comey answered, “She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of state.”
Comey admits that Clinton lied. But here is the difference (that we won’t know precisely because there was no oath and no recording).
You can lie publicly all you want, if people are sufficiently stupid to believe it — like much of the electorate and the American Media Maggots are doltish enough. But you should not lie to the FBI. My guess is that Hillary Clinton came relatively clean in 3.5 hours. And that is why I believe she was not placed under oath and the interview was not recorded. Things like that make it easier to dispute later when politically necessary. There is no record and it is not completely official. As the Church Lady would have said, “how con-veee-nient.”
Gowdy asked whether Clintons’ lawyers read every one of her emails as she had said. Comey replied, “No.”
But here, ladies and gentlemen, comes the crux of the proverbial biscuit. Please read this carefully, though through Gowdy’s bit of humor:
“In interest of time, because I have a plane to catch tomorrow afternoon, I’m not going to go through anymore of the false statements but I am going to ask you put on your old hat. False exculpatory statements, they are used for what?” Gowdy inquired.
Wait for it.
“Exactly. Intent and consciousness of guilt, right? Is that right?” Gowdy asked. “Consciousness of guilt and intent.”
Please read the rest of the article here, because we are going to jump to another Politico article. Politico purposely does not let you make this link. You have to be smarter than Politico and make the link as I now display to you. We continue:
Comey: Clinton did not lie to the FBI
by Nick Gass
Hillary Clinton did not lie to FBI investigators during their probe into her use of a private server as secretary of state, FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday.
“We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI,” Comey told House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) during one of the hearing’s opening exchanges.
Chaffetz then asked whether Clinton lied to the public. “That’s a question I’m not qualified to answer. I can speak about what she said to the FBI,” Comey said.
Weasel words. Mealy-mouthed. Word pablum. You cannot determine that Clinton lied to the public? You just made your best case that she did. If she didn’t lie to your agents under oath, and you’re unsure if she lied to the public, then why didn’t you simply say so? Instead, you went out of your way to say the opposite. Your statements are conflicting and make no sense whatsoever.
But the most insightful part has arrived. Comey outs himself:
Chaffetz then asked whether it was that he was just not able to prosecute it or that Clinton broke the law.
“Well, I don’t want to give an overly lawyerly answer,” Comey said. “The question I always look at is there evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that somebody engaged in conduct that violated a criminal statute, and my judgment here is there is not. “
And that was how James Comey attempted to rationalize his decision. He stated he did not believe his case established guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
NEWSFLASH: It is not UP to YOU, Director Comey, to assemble a case that yields a determination of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That threshold is up to the DOJ or more pointedly a Grand Jury, not you or your organization. All you need to compile a case for submission is “probable cause.” That’s what real cops and real DAs in America do. Their jobs. They stay in their lanes and do their jobs.
As I have said time and again, there are two kinds of crimes as written by statute: those of general intent and those of specific intent. Comey stated that HRC had to have possessed a very specific intent to commit her crimes. EXCEPT that the US codes applicable are not those of specific intent because they do not include the phrase “with the intent to.”
That is how a crime of specific intent is crafted. It is stated.
Even more disturbing: Attorney General Lynch did not recuse herself from the final decision on whether to prosecute the case — nor did she give that decision to a career prosecutor at the Department of Justice. She instead prejudged the case by supposedly blindly accepting the FBI’s recommendation. She stepped back and placed the festering pile of shite in the lap of Comey.
FBI Director James Comey figured out how to cover his own ass by revealing some truths about Hillary Clinton whilst simultaneously making nice with those in DC power positions who could hurt him seriously. This is Comey’s false justification for his decision. And it is clearly wrong and damaging. He created his “out.”
Or did he just believe he “took one for the team”?
In my opinion: no. He dishonored his oath.
Agents were directed to identify exculpatory instead of incriminatory evidence in the Hillary Rodham Clinton illegal server email case “conducted” by the FBI.
And trust me: that grated in the craw of every good line-level FBI agent remotely connected with the investigation.
As it grates with regard to DOJ special agents and some of the attorneys who aren’t yet full Leftist sycophants.
FBI, DOJ roiled by Comey, Lynch decision to let Clinton slide by on emails, says insider
by Malia Zimmerman and Adam Housley
The decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for mishandling classified information has roiled the FBI and Department of Justice, with one person closely involved in the year-long probe telling FoxNews.com that career agents and attorneys on the case unanimously believed the Democratic presidential nominee should have been charged.
The source, who spoke to FoxNews.com on the condition of anonymity, said FBI Director James Comey’s dramatic July 5 announcement that he would not recommend to the Attorney General’s office that the former secretary of state be charged left members of the investigative team dismayed and disgusted. More than 100 FBI agents and analysts worked around the clock with six attorneys from the DOJ’s National Security Division, Counter Espionage Section, to investigate the case.
“No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by FoxNews.com.
Read that again: “No trial level attorney, no agent working the case agree, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision.”
Precisely. That decision came directly from the Oval Office via a telephone call to Loretta Lynch and then a call to Director James Comey. It all dovetails and ties up neatly. I wrote about “connecting the dots” of corruption in the Obama administration here. Please take time to read the article — it explains most everything you’ve seen and heard.
Comey can’t stand political or personal heat. From anyone. He instead wants to please everyone, somehow keep his job, and does real justice no service whatsoever. If there ever were an indecisive, cowardly and misdirected man, it is James Brien Comey.
B) Under mounting pressure, on October 28th Director Comey indicated he was re-opening the investigation into more of Hillary Clinton’s emails — an estimated 650,000 of them, stemming from the examination of a case involving Anthony Wiener, husband of Huma Abedin, close assistant and confidant of HRC. The American Media Maggots and the Clinton campaigners moo’d in unison: “bad decision, Jim, bad decision.”
C) Following his determination to re-open the Clinton email case, the OSC (Office of Special Counsel) received complaints about Director Comey regarding violations of the Hatch Act, which is a “law designed to prevent federal officeholders from abusing their power to influence an election.” This complaint was filed Saturday, October 29th with the OSC by lawyer Richard Painter.
D) Nine short days later, armed with a team of miracle workers, FBI Director James Comey reaffirmed his original July decision: yeppers, nothing to see here. No corruption, no collusion, move along. The American Media Maggots and the Clinton campaigners moo’d again in unison: “great decision, Jim, great decision.”
You cannot convince me that James Comey can take political heat. He has instead bent and broken to whatever prevailing political prairie winds were coursing through DC at any given time. He is still sitting in a dark leather chair in his corner orifice whilst the bulk of his peers have left DC — including former AGs Holder and Lynch, as well as the former president. Comey, by appearing confused and/or conciliatory and utilizing his finest set of pablum-packed weasel words, is still standing.
Comey vacillates, he is a flawed thinker, and has proven that he is untrustworthy. Those are now his best qualities.
You keep Comey, President Trump, at your own peril.
In any event, there was an atrocious — I can think of no other word — catastrophe of potentially global implications that occurred in San Bernardino. This video perhaps illustrates things at their base.
The media was given whole hog access to the terrorist base camp.
And the media just how happened to have had those things opened up to reporters?
This Is The Most Insane Thing You Have Ever Seen on Live TV. Seriously. What The Actual F***?
by Ben Shapiro
The media are jackals.
The feds are incompetent.
We’re completely screwed.
That’s the only message we can take from the media’s three-hour tour of the San Bernardino terrorists’ apartment. On Friday, at media request, the landlord of the apartment pried off a board covering the door with a crowbar, and the media, in all of their vulpine glory, rushed forward to feast on material evidence in a terrorism investigation.
That heads are not yet rolling — at least in public — astounds and amazes me.
Because mostly all month I have been extolling the independence and competency of FBI Director James Comey, whom I’ve quantified as one of the best directors to sit at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue in some time.
I don’t see any fingerprint dust on the walls where they went in there and checked for fingerprints for other people that might have been connected with these two. You’ve got documents laying all over the place; you’ve got shredded documents…You have passports, you’ve got drivers’ licenses — now you have thousands of fingerprints all over inside this crime scene…I am so shocked, I cannot believe it.
San Bernardino police defend themselves after terrorists’ landlord allows media unfettered access inside their apartment – but MSNBC apologizes for airing it live
by Chris Spargo
The media was allowed unsupervised access into the home of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik on Friday
During their live broadcast, MSNBC showed identification cards that should not have been made public
‘We regret that we briefly showed images of photographs and identification cards that should not have been aired without review,’ said MSNBC
The San Bernardino police said it was still an active crime scene Friday morning, but the FBI later said that was not the case
‘If the police are watching this, they better be on their way down there to stop this from happening,’ said law enforcement specialist Harry Houck
He also noted that it appeared the apartment had at no point been dusted for fingerprints based on what he was seeing
I most definitely have a “take” on this, and it isn’t against the San Bernardino Police Department. I find the FBI wholly at fault. Having worked for the federal system and with local law enforcement for 41 years (and retiring only 5 months ago), here’s why:
The FBI determined the San Bernardino shootings were acts of terror. Once the names of the suspects were released, anyone with half a nerve ganglion knew it was terror committed in the name of Islam. It was personal, yes, because of where and whom the suspects targeted, but still Islamic terror, homegrown.
Because of that determination, any and all crime scenes become the charge of the overarching element — terror — and that means the FBI is charged with handling the case, from the crime scenes to the processing and the jurisdictional provenance.
Yes, local law enforcement agencies were the first responders, but the FBI is tasked with taking the case, organizing it, investigating it, providing updates to the AG and ultimately to a courtroom should the fact pattern and future discoveries lead there. It is not impossible the two Muslim suspects were assisted in some fashion and that their plans included any number of soft targets in Southern California.
In other words, the crime scene at the house, in my opinion, wasn’t the San Bernardino Police Department’s baby to rock. It was the FBI because they will have ultimate authority in terms of potential prosecutions or developments in the future.
But I can only conjure a short list of alternatives for this cock-up.
No communications. The FBI failed to communicate its needs to the other agencies involved. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Lack of monitoring. The FBI failed to monitor what was occurring on their crime scene.
A phone call from DC. The Obama administration is clearly Muslim-friendly.
Overall incompetence or indifference.
No matter, it is CSI Copwork 101 that, in a high-stakes case involving the death of a human being, particularly one of such criticality, you process the scene with unwavering detail, you take everything (because in the early portion of any given case you never truly know where the case will go or what piece of evidence will gain even more importance), nothing remains, because — once released — you can never re-live that scene again. It will never be the same.
You would never, ever, ever leave any bit of indicia behind at a crime scene of this significance because, as a defense attorney, if and when it comes to that, I will tear you a new asshole on the stand and make you look the complete SCOAMF; a Stuttering Clusterfuck of a Miserable Failure.
This is not a small problem; this is potentially a catastrophic problem. I can’t help siding with Michael Patrick Tracy on this one.
When the American Media Maggots stop to wonder why they were let into a particular scene, you know you have an issue.
FBI director admits domestic use of drones for surveillance
The FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance purposes, the head of the agency told Congress early Wednesday.
Robert Mueller, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, confirmed to lawmakers that the FBI owns several unmanned aerial vehicles, but has not adopted any strict policies or guidelines yet to govern the use of the controversial aircraft.
“Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on US soil?” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Mr Mueller during an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Yes,” Mueller responded bluntly, adding that the FBI’s operation of drones is “very seldom.”
Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to elaborate, Mueller added, “It’s very seldom used and generally used in a particular incident where you need the capability.” Earlier in the morning, however, Mueller said that the agency was only now working to establish set rules for the drone program.