FBI

Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow’s gangster past in History Channel documentary

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Of all the cast of characters in the scandal encircling Sen. Leland Yee, none is more colorful and intriguing than Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

The former Chinatown gang boss is interviewed extensively in this episode of the History Channel’s “Gangland,” embedded below. It traces Chow’s history -- from the first time he knifed someone when he was nine years old, to the story of his rise to power, running a criminal empire from Chinatown with ambitions to engulf the United States. Read more »

Hacker pranks San Francisco FBI using Google Maps exploit

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An ex-Marine turned hacker used his powers for good last week, exploiting a flaw in Google Maps to tap into phone calls from the FBI’s San Francisco field office and the Secret Service. Read more »

Stealing secret records about government spying used to be way more complicated

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In 1971, a group of radicals broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole a bunch of documents about J. Edgar Hoover’s surveillance program targeting dissidents and antiwar activists.

Thanks to their criminal act, which they followed up by anonymously sending copies of the files to major media outlets, awareness of FBI spying under Cointelpro penetrated mainstream consciousness.Read more »

Solomon: The pursuit of Edward Snowden: Washington in a rage, striving to run the world

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By Norman Solomon


Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

Rarely has any American provoked such fury in Washington’s high places. So far, Edward Snowden has outsmarted the smartest guys in the echo chamber -- and he has proceeded with the kind of moral clarity that U.S. officials seem to find unfathomable.

Bipartisan condemnations of Snowden are escalating from Capitol Hill and the Obama administration. More of the NSA’s massive surveillance program is now visible in the light of day -- which is exactly what it can’t stand.

The central issue is our dire shortage of democracy. How can we have real consent of the governed when the government is entrenched with extreme secrecy, surveillance and contempt for privacy? Read more »

Here’s which tech companies won’t turn your emails over to the feds

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When you write a letter, seal it in an envelope, and drop it in the mail, federal law is clear that it’s a private document. No government agent can legally open it up and read it without a warrant demonstrating probable cause under the Fourth Amendment. But really, when was the last time you sent anybody a letter? Read more »

Reports of grenade-type devices used in West Oakland raid

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A high profile police raid occurred last night in multiple East Bay locations, with most activity centered at the Acorn public housing complex in West Oakland. According to recent news reports, some 150 FBI agents and support staff carried out the raid, along with 120 Oakland police officers and other law enforcement officers from San Leandro, Hayward and Antioch.Read more »

Miranda rights in Boston

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It’s the age-old dilemma, the stuff of dozens of thrillers and action movies: You’ve captured a guy who knows exactly where a bomb has been planted, and it’s going to explode in 30 minutes and kill thousands of people. Do you bother to read him his Miranda rights and encourage him to speak to an attorney before he answers any questions?Read more »

Feds' use of spy tools under scrutiny due to privacy concerns

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If the FBI is trying to pinpoint the location of a suspect in your neighborhood, investigators could sweep up information from your mobile device just because you happen to be in proximity to their target. Civil liberties advocates are concerned that the practice is a major invasion of privacy.Read more »

The FBI and Occupy

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A federal judge will decide March 15 whether to dismiss a lawsuit by the ACLU and the Bay Guardian seeking access to FBI records showing the agency’s involvement with the Occupy movement.

As if often the case, the FBI’s legal motions tell an interesting story that sheds light on what some of the still-unreleased documents might show.
The filings make it clear that the FBI was not only spying on the Occupy movement but was sharing data with local law-enforcement agencies -- and at some point may have classified some part of the Occupy movement as international terrorists.Read more »

Caught in the FBI's net

A nationwide hunt for sexually exploited children wound up catching a few youth — and a lot more adult sex workers

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yael@sfbg.com

The mission: Rescuing sexually exploited children. Who can argue with that?

From June 20 through June 23, the FBI and local police departments and district attorney's offices throughout the United States were engaged in Operation Cross Country, three days of stings targeting pimps for arrest.

According to the FBI, the mission was successful. "Nationwide, 79 children were rescued and 104 pimps were arrested for various state and local charges," a press statement released the following week reads.Read more »