Tag Archive for Department of Justice

Obama Administration White Paper on NSA Bulk Collection of Telephony Metadata

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.

U.S. Government Foreign Telecommunications Providers Network Security Agreements

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.”

U.S. Department of Justice Statistics Report: Firearm Violence 1993-2011

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.

Federal Property and Equipment Manual: Federal Sources of Personal Property for Law Enforcement

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.

Suspicious Activity Reporting Line Officer Training Video

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.

(U//LES) National Gang Intelligence Center Street Gangs Involved in Tax Fraud Schemes

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.

The Department of Justice’s Principles for Conducting Online Undercover Operations

In 1999 the Department of Justice convened a working group to discuss the increasing role of technology in criminality and the challenges law enforcement face when conducting online investigations. The Online Investigations Working Group included members of the FBI, Treasury, Secret Service, IRS, ATF, Air Force and even NASA who worked to produce a series of general principles governing the legality of online investigative practices. The working group codified these eleven principles, governing everything from basic information gathering to undercover operations, and wrote a report titled “Online Investigative Principles for Federal Law Enforcement Agents” that detailed the group’s findings. Though the document was originally marked “Sensitive Law Enforcement Information” and “Distribution Limited to Law Enforcement Personnel” a significant portion of the document was released to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in 2004. However, very significant portions of the document that discuss online undercover operations were heavily redacted. These sections are highly relevant to understanding law enforcement’s pursuit of the hacktivist group Anonymous and the recent case of LulzSec leader “Sabu” who operated for nearly six months as a FBI informant after his arrest in June 2011.

Department of Justice Online Investigative Principles for Federal Law Enforcement Agents

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.

Attorney General Eric Holder Speech on Targeted Killing of U.S. Citizens Full Transcript

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.

DoJ-DHS Law Enforcement Guidelines for First Amendment-Protected Events

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.

DoJ Hand-Held Aerosol Tear Gas Weapons Assessment

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.

DoJ Military and Civil Law Enforcement Nonlethal Weapons and Equipment Review

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.

California Congressional Representatives Letter to President Obama on Medical Marijuana Crackdown

We write to express our concern with the recent activity by the Department of Justice against legitimate medical cannabis dispensaries in California that are operating legally under state law. As you know, in October of 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder issued formal guidelines for federal prosecutors in states that have enacted laws authorizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The guidelines were spelled out in a memo to United States Attorneys from then Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, saying in part that the Attorneys should not focus federal resources in their state “on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

(U//LES) National Drug Intelligence Center: Mexican Drug Cartels Operating Within U.S. Cities

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.

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Investigation of Puerto Rican Police Abuses

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.

DoJ Terrorism and Criminal Extremism Terms and Concepts Guide

In order for criminal justice professionals to effectively combat terrorism/extremism, it is imperative to obtain as much information as possible. Extremist groups often develop languages of their own. Some have created terms that are unique in the English language, while others have given new or expanded meaning to relatively common words and phrases. In addition, certain symbols, events, organizations, and individuals have particular significance for members of some extremist organizations, none of which may be familiar to an investigator or prosecutor who has not previously been involved with such cases. Investigating Terrorism and Criminal Extremism—Terms and Concepts is a glossary designed primarily as a tool for criminal justice professionals to enhance their understanding of words relating to extremist terminology, phrases, activities, symbols, organizations, and selected names that they may encounter while conducting criminal investigations or prosecutions of members of extremist organizations. Included are terms that may be germane to members of an extremist movement. Also defined are words that are singularly employed by specific extremist groups. Legal terms that have been given new meanings by groups’ adherents are also defined. Similarly, certain terms that describe activities and tactics commonly undertaken by extremists are also included. Significant groups, organizations, movements, and publications that are important for an understanding of terrorism/extremism in the United States and that may be encountered by law enforcement officers and prosecutors are also documented. Inasmuch as this publication is primarily intended to define terms, individuals indexed by name are limited in occurrence. However, there are some people who are of such importance to certain segments of the extremist movement that their very names are equated with that cause. Therefore, some of the better-known terrorists are included.

DHS/DOJ Fire Service Integration for Fusion Centers

This document identifies recommended actions and guidance for state and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) to effectively integrate the fire service into the fusion process. Within the context of this document, the fire service is defined as including fire and emergency operations, emergency medical service operations, rescue operations, hazardous materials operations, fire prevention/protection, fire investigation, incident management, and responder safety.

Intelligence-Led Policing: The New Intelligence Architecture

Intelligence operations have been reviewed, studied, and slowly but steadily transformed. Most efforts have focused on reorganizing intelligence infrastructures at the federal level; however, corresponding efforts have been made to enhance state and local law enforcement intelligence operations. Such enhancements make it possible for state and local law enforcement agencies to play a role in homeland security. Perhaps more important, improvements to intelligence operations help local law enforcement respond to “traditional” crimes more effectively.

(U//FOUO) DHS/DOJ Fusion Process Analytic Skills & Knowledge Review

To facilitate the development of a nationwide, integrated, inter-connected fusion center capability, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Preparedness Directorate (NPD) and the Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A) and the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) have partnered to develop and deploy the Fusion Process Technical Assistance Program. This program has been developed in coordination with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI); the Office of the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and experts from the State and local community—including the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global), the Criminal
Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC), and the Global Intelligence Working Group (GIWG).

U.S. DOJ-FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Policy 2011 Draft

Law enforcement needs timely and secure access to services that provide data wherever and whenever for stopping and reducing crime. In response to these needs, the Advisory Policy Board (APB) recommended to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division authorize the expansion of the existing security management structure in 1998. Administered through a shared management philosophy, the CJIS Security Policy contains information security requirements, guidelines, and agreements reflecting the will of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies for protecting the sources, transmission, storage, and generation of Criminal Justice Information (CJI); and the Personally Identifiable Information derived from CJI.