On the evening of May 21, 2013, an FBI agent, 2 Massachusetts State Troopers, and a local Orlando police officer arrived at Ibragim Todashev’s apartment to interview him again. 8 hours later, Todashev was shot dead leaving law enforcement officials with the daunting task of keeping their stories straight.
It’s no mystery that government agencies compel tech companies to give them (totally legal) access to user data. It’s also pretty well known that the tech companies charge the government for the trouble. We’ve just never really known how much—until now.
Long story short, Microsoft charges the FBI (read: taxpayers) hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for access to information about you. And their rates are on the rise. The Syrian Electronic Army says it hacked into the FBI’s super-secret Digital Intercept Technology Unit (DITU), where they found the actual invoices from Microsoft detailing how much each request for data cost.
Sworn testimony by an FBI supervisor has confirmed that the FBI recruited an informant close to Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s, who was later employed by the CIA. Both agencies concealed this fact from the commission established to investigate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The testimony came from Edward Curran, a former supervisor at the Los Angeles FBI office, in an anti-discrimination case brought by Bassem Youssef, the most experienced Arabic-speaking FBI agent. Youssef sued the bureau charging he was repeatedly passed over for promotion because the FBI believed he was a Muslim. He is actually a Coptic Christian of Egyptian descent.
While investigating a hosting company known for sheltering child porn last year the FBI incidentally seized the entire e-mail database of a popular anonymous webmail service called TorMail.
Now the FBI is tapping that vast trove of e-mail in unrelated investigations.
THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.
But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.