October 13, 2013 in Department of Justice
The use of social media is a relatively new phenomenon in policing. Development of formal policy on social media is generally lagging behind practice. A variety of legal, civil rights, and privacy-related issues regarding social media have been raised, but these issues have not yet been settled by legislatures or resolved in the courts. Social Media and Tactical Considerations for Law Enforcement summarizes discussions at a national conference of police executives on these issues, and analyzes the experiences of selected law enforcement agencies in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom that have shown leadership in advancing the use of social media for various purposes. Police agencies can use social media to facilitate two-way communications with the public to disseminate information, manage political demonstrations and other major events, obtain intelligence about “flash mobs” or rioting, and investigate crimes.
October 7, 2013 in Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Over the past year, the NSI PMO has continued its implementation efforts and outreach to NSI stakeholders to help ensure that law enforcement and homeland security partners are afforded another tool to help identify and prevent terrorism and other related criminal activity. The ongoing collaboration among DOJ, DHS, the FBI, SLTT partners, and the National Network of Fusion Centers has strengthened, allowing the NSI to expand its nationwide information sharing capability. As of March 2013, 73 fusion centers have met the requirements outlined by the NSI PMO to be fully NSI-Operational—an increase of 5 centers from the same time last year—and all 78 fusion centers now maintain the capability to contribute and share suspicious activity reports through the Shared Space or eGuardian. This expansion of the NSI has allowed the Federated Search Tool to be accessed by more trained users—increasing the number of searches to more than 76,400—and more than 25,900 Information Sharing Environment (ISE)-SARs had been submitted and shared by the end of March 2013. Further, with the support of the National Network of Fusion Centers, 46 states and the District of Columbia are participating in statewide implementation of the NSI; implementation efforts are currently under way in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to ensure a strengthened nationwide capacity for sharing ISE-SAR information.
September 9, 2013 in Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
An updated policy manual for the FBI National Data Exchange (N-DEx) released August 28, 2013. The manual was updated to include substantial additions to the regulations governing use of information within the system and the maintenance of records for later auditing of law enforcement agencies’ access to the system.
September 2, 2013 in Drug Enforcement Agency, White House
The Hemisphere Project is coordinated from the Los Angeles Clearinghouse and is funded by ONDCP and DEA. Hemisphere provides electronic call detail records (CDRs) in response to federal, state, and local administrative/grand jury subpoenas. The Hemisphere database contains CDRs for any telephone carrier that uses an AT&T switch to process a telephone call. Hemisphere is an unclassified program. Hemisphere provides de-confliction within the Hemisphere database. 4 billion CDRs populate the Hemisphere database on a daily basis.
August 10, 2013 in Department of Justice
This white paper explains the Government’s legal basis for an intelligence collection program under which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtains court orders directing certain telecommunications service providers to produce telephony metadata in bulk. The bulk metadata is stored, queried and analyzed by the National Security Agency (NSA) for counterterrorism purposes. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“the FISC” or “the Court”) authorizes this program under the “business records” provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), 50 U.S.C. § 1861, enacted as section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Section 215). The Court first authorized the program in 2006, and it has since been renewed thirty-four times under orders issued by fourteen different FISC judges. This paper explains why the telephony metadata collection program, subject to the restrictions imposed by the Court, is consistent with the Constitution and the standards set forth by Congress in Section 215. Because aspects of this program remain classified, there are limits to what can be said publicly about the facts underlying its legal authorization. This paper is an effort to provide as much information as possible to the public concerning the legal authority for this program, consistent with the need to protect national security, including intelligence sources and methods. While this paper summarizes the legal basis for the program, it is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of the program or the legal arguments or authorities in support of it.
July 30, 2013 in Drug Enforcement Agency
This report presents data and conclusions from the Heroin Domestic Monitor Program (HDMP) conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for calendar year (CY) 2011. The HDMP provides data on the price, purity, and geographic source of heroin sold at the retail level in 27 U.S. cities. The data contained in this report are based on actual undercover heroin purchases made by the DEA and its law enforcement partners on the streets of these cities.
July 21, 2013 in Department of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
The National Insider Threat Policy aims to strengthen the protection and safeguarding of classified information by: establishing common expectations; institutionalizing executive branch best practices; and enabling flexible implementation across the executive branch.
July 9, 2013 in Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
A collection of Network Security Agreements (NSAs) entered into with foreign communications infrastructure providers ensuring U.S. government agencies the ability to access communications data when legally requested. The agreements range in date from 1999 to 2011 and involve a rotating group of government agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DoJ), Department of Defense (DoD) and sometimes the Department of the Treasury. According to the Washington Post, the agreements require companies to maintain what amounts to an “internal corporate cell of American citizens with government clearances” ensuring that “when U.S. government agencies seek access to the massive amounts of data flowing through their networks, the companies have systems in place to provide it securely.”
May 18, 2013 in Department of Justice
In 2011, a total of 478,400 fatal and nonfatal violent crimes were committed with a firearm. Homicides made up about 2% of all firearm-related crimes. There were 11,101 firearm homicides in 2011, down by 39% from a high of 18,253 in 1993. The majority of the decline in firearm-related homicides occurred between 1993 and 1998. Since 1999, the number of firearm homicides increased from 10,828 to 12,791 in 2006 before declining to 11,101 in 2011. Nonfatal firearm-related violent victimizations against persons age 12 or older declined 70%, from 1.5 million in 1993 to 456,500 in 2004. The number then fluctuated between about 400,000 to 600,000 through 2011. While the number of firearm crimes declined over time, the percentage of all violence that involved a firearm did not change substantively, fluctuating between 6% and 9% over the same period. In 1993, 9% of all violence was committed with a firearm, compared to 8% in 2011.
April 12, 2013 in Drug Enforcement Agency
This memorandum summarizes the basic payment principles. Title 21 U.S.C. § 876 authorizes the use of administrative subpoenas to obtain information relating to Title 21 investigations. DEA is under no obligation to pay for information provided in response to its issuance of an administrative subpoena unless a separate Federal statute or regulation specifically states that reimbursement is required.
January 12, 2013 in Department of Justice, Scholarly
This overview presents key findings and conclusions from a study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice to investigate the effects of the federal assault weapons ban. This study updates prior reports to the National Institute of Justice and the U.S. Congress on the assault weapons legislation.
September 19, 2012 in Department of Justice
Eight presentations used in the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) program for law enforcement, which is supported by grants from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
August 28, 2012 in Department of Justice
For a number of years, Congress has recognized that State and local law enforcement could benefit from access to excess and surplus personal Federal property and has passed legislation to make this property and equipment available. The largest generator of this property has been the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Although this source of property has passed its peak and the amount and variety of excess property will continue to decline over time, law enforcement agencies can still obtain high-quality, high-value property at little or no cost.
April 28, 2012 in Department of Justice
A video made by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. It is designed to inform law enforcement “line officers” of standards for reporting suspicious activity in furtherance of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI). The video and transcript were obtained from the website of the Department of Public Safety in New Mexico.
March 30, 2012 in Department of Justice
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), incidents of tax return fraud have increased in recent years, and gang involvement in this criminal activity mirrors that trend. Gangs perpetrate tax return fraud by utilizing facilitators, such as employees of tax preparation companies. Prison gangs often employ females or other facilitators on the street to assist them, and communicate by legal mail to avoid law enforcement detection. While some of the fraud is committed using gang members’ information, gangs are also threatening and/or paying individuals a fixed amount for the personal identifying information and committing identity theft. The illicit revenues from these schemes are subsequently used to supplement traditional criminal activities and in overall furtherance of the gang.
March 26, 2012 in Department of Justice
Increasing criminal activity among Juggalos is of concern due to the ease with which these transitory and loosely affiliated criminal sub-sets are able to form and break off of the well established Juggalo sub-culture of over one million followers. Their crimes are characterized by acts of violence and destruction directed against law enforcement, members of the community, public/private property, and other members of their group. Juggalos are classified as a gang in the states of Arizona, California, Pennsylvania and Utah. Despite this narrow classification, Juggalo-related crime has been documented in at least 20 other states according to law enforcement and open-source reporting.
March 22, 2012 in Department of Justice
A guide to principles used in online investigations conducted by federal law enforcement agents was authored by a special working group convened by the Department of Justice in 1999. The working group included members of the FBI, Treasury, Secret Service, IRS, ATF, Air Force and even NASA who worked to create a standard guide for federal agents engaged in online criminal investigations.
March 6, 2012 in Department of Justice
These principles do not forbid the use of stealth or technologically advanced weapons. In fact, the use of advanced weapons may help to ensure that the best intelligence is available for planning and carrying out operations, and that the risk of civilian casualties can be minimized or avoided altogether. Some have argued that the President is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate. “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.
November 14, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice
As articulated in the United States Constitution, one of the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment is the right of persons and groups to assemble peacefully. Whether demonstrating, counterprotesting, or showing support for a cause, individuals and groups have the right to peacefully gather. Law enforcement, in turn, has the responsibility to ensure public safety while protecting the privacy and associated rights of individuals. To support agencies as they fulfill their public safety responsibilities, the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) developed this paper to provide guidance and recommendations to law enforcement officers in understanding their role in First Amendment-protected events. This paper is divided into three areas, designed to provide in-depth guidance for law enforcement.
November 14, 2011 in Department of Justice
This standard establishes minimum performance requirements and methods of test, including safety and handling aspects, for hand -held aerosol tear gas (less -than -lethal) weapons used by law enforcement agencies. These devices are used by law enforcement officers to incapacitate or distract one person or several whose behavior must be modified when the situation is not sufficiently dangerous to require the use of a firearm. The scope of this standard is limited to hand-held tear gas weapons that incorporate ortho-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS) or alpha-chloroacetophenone (CN) as the active agent (lacrimator), sprayed from an aerosol dispenser.
November 14, 2011 in Department of Justice
Law enforcement officers of the 21st century encounter many of the same challenges and issues their predecessors faced during the late 20th century. Incidents involving hostage rescue, vehicle pursuit, attempted suicide, the need to detain or control unruly individuals and crowds, and domestic disturbances continue to dominate daily activities. However, technology advances have matured, and new tactics provide law enforcement officers with additional options for handling many of these situations. A difficult aspect of civil law enforcement continues to be the need to manage individuals or groups when more than a show of force or voice commands are required and deadly force is neither authorized nor the preferred method of resolution. To meet this need, many Federal and State agencies and local law enforcement departments have developed and used less-lethal technology.
October 31, 2011 in Department of Justice
The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) assesses with high confidence that in 2009, Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) were operating in the United States in at least 1,286 cities spanning all nine Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) regions, based on law enforcement reporting. Moreover, NDIC assesses with high confidence that Mexican DTOs in at least 143 of these U.S. cities were linked to a specific Mexican Cartel or DTO based in Mexico—the Sinaloa Cartel (at least 75 cities), the Gulf Cartel/Los Zetas (at least 37 cities), the Juárez Cartel (at least 33 cities), the Beltrán-Leyva DTO (at least 30 cities), La Familia Michoacán (at least 27 cities), or the Tijuana Cartel (at least 21 cities). NDIC assesses with high confidence that Mexican DTOs will further expand their drug trafficking operations in the United States in the near term, particularly in the New England, New York/New Jersey, Mid-Atlantic, and Florida/Caribbean Regions. NDIC also believes that Mexican DTOs will maintain the present high level of availability for heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine because the conditions in Mexico and in the United States that enabled and motivated the DTOs to increase production and availability of those drugs have not significantly changed.
September 29, 2011 in Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice cellular service provider data retention guide originally obtained by American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.
September 9, 2011 in Department of Justice
We recognize that PRPD faces significant challenges as Puerto Rico’s primary law enforcement agency. The unconstitutional acts that we have identified arise at a time of crisis in public safety. Contrary to national trends, violent crime increased overall in Puerto Rico by 17% from 2007 to 2009. In 2010, Puerto Rico saw the second highest number of murders in its history, a trend that is escalating in 2011. The clearance rate for murders remains below the national average. Some Puerto Rico officials maintain that drug trafficking and social deterioration are fueling the wave of violent crime. However, increasing crime cannot be used to justify continued civil rights violations or the failure to implement meaningful reforms. Constitutional policing and effective law enforcement are inextricably bound. Public safety depends on the trust and cooperation of the community, which in turn depends on constitutional police practices that respect civil rights. Our previous efforts in working with large police departments strongly suggest that by addressing the civil rights concerns we raise in this report, the Commonwealth will not only meet its constitutional duty, but also reduce crime, improve public safety, and increase community confidence.
June 25, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Intelligence Fusion Centers
In 2009, the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) assessed that Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) were operating in the U.S. in at least 1, 286 cities spanning nine regions. Moreover, NDIC assesses with high confidence that Mexican DTO’s in at least 143 of these U.S. cities were linked to a specific Mexican Cartel or DTO based in Mexico—the Sinaloa Cartel (at least 75 cities), the Gulf Cartel/Los Zetas (at least 37 cities), the Juárez Cartel (at least 33 cities), the Beltrán-Leyva DTO (at least 30 cities), La Familia Michoacán (at least 27 cities), or the Tijuana Cartel (at least 21 cities). NDIC assesses with high confidence that Mexican DTOs will further expand their drug trafficking operations in the United States. Due to the rise in violence throughout the Southwest Region and Mexico, members of the Cartels, their associates and their families have been suspected of moving into many U.S. cities along the border. As a result, agencies are requesting information on ways to identify those involved with drug trafficking organizations. The information included in this report is not set in stone as many of these criminal organizations are dynamic and will alter their methods and trends frequently to avoid detection by law enforcement.