Anonymous Hacks US Department Of Justice Server, Posts Data Online

May 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The hacker activist group Anonymous hacked into a Justice Department server and posted troves of data online on Monday.

The group claimed it was releasing 1.7GB of data belonging to the “United States Bureau of Justice” and said the data included internal emails.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that someone had gained unauthorized access to a department server.

But she said the only server affected was the one that contains the data for the public website of the Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, which compiles national crime statistics.

The spokeswoman said the Bureau of Justice Statistics website had remained operational and the main website,, was not affected.

“The department is continuing protection and defensive measures to safeguard information and will refer any activity that is determined to be criminal in nature to law enforcement for investigation,” she said.

It is not immediately clear whether the data dump included any sensitive information. But the fact that Anonymous had gained access to a Justice Department server makes the attack much more serious than the group’s more common tactic of overloading a government website with requests from thousands of computers.

Anonymous has used that method, known as a denial-of-service attack, in the past to crash the websites of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA and major record labels and movie studios. But that method does not give the hackers access to classified information.

In a statement, the hacker group said it released the data “to spread information, to allow the people to be heard and to know the corruption in their government.”

“We are releasing it to end the corruption that exists, and truly make those who are being oppressed free,” the group claimed.

The Justice Department arrested five alleged leaders of Anonymous earlier this year after one of the hackers became a government informant in exchange for a lighter sentence.

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Feds Tell Arizona They Obtained Death Penalty Drug Illegally

May 28, 2011

ARIZONA – Hours before the scheduled execution of an Arizona death row inmate, the Department of Justice informed the state that it should not use a controversial drug as part of the execution protocol because the state had illegally obtained the drug from a foreign source.

The last-minute move stunned lawyers for convicted murderer Donald Beaty who had argued for months that Arizona hadn’t been in compliance with federal law regarding the importation of sodium thiopental, one of the three drugs commonly used for lethal injection executions . The drug is no longer manufactured in the U.S.

The Arizona Supreme Court delayed Beaty’s scheduled execution by several hours and Beaty is now set to die at 7:30pm MST.

Arizona had consistently argued that it had properly obtained the drug.

In a filing with the Arizona’s Supreme Court the state’s Attorney General said that it in order to “avoid questions about the legality ” of the drug it had decided to comply with the request from United States Associate Deputy Attorney General Deborah A. Johnston.

In the filing it said it planned to substitute another fast-acting barbiturate?pentobarbital?for the sodium thiopental. Arizona law allows it to change its protocol without hearings and legislative review required by some other states?

Long before the surprise announcement from Arizona’s prison, Dale Baich, Beaty’s public defender, had contacted the Department of Justice seeking guidance why the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had seized the drug from five other states this year but not Arizona.

The DEA seized the imported drug from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee informing prison officials that it believed they had failed to follow federal importation laws. But the agency it did not seize the drug from Arizona and four other states who had also obtained the drug from abroad.

In his letters to Washington Baich had argued that he believed that Arizona had also failed to properly import the drug and that its supply should also have been seized.

“I sent three letters to the DOJ and made calls to the DEA that were not returned,” said Baich. He said that he was at a loss to understand why the agency hadn’t treated all the states uniformly.

After the announcement Baich said, “The question of whether Arizona legally imported the drug has now been answered.”

Sodium thiopental is used to induce a coma like unconsciousness. It is usually followed by another drug that paralyzes the inmate and a third that induces cardiac arrest. Should the first drug be ineffective, a prisoner could feel tremendous pain by the time the third drug is injected.

Beaty was sentenced to death in 1985 for the brutal rape and murder of Christy Ann Fornoff who was 13 years old and on her paper route when she disappeared.

Controversy about sodium thiopental began in 2009 after the lone US supplier stopped production. Several of the 35 states that allow lethal injection have found themselves in short supply, and some began to import the drug from overseas suppliers. Other states have changed their protocol to use pentobarbital.

Across the country, attorneys representing death row inmates began to file challenges questioning whether the drug should be imported from foreign sources at all and whether proper import guidelines had been met.

The ACLU of Northern California has been tracking the issue.

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Department Of Justice Still Hiding Documents, Won’t Pay Claim, After FBI Agent Wrecked $750,000 Ferrari During Joyride

May 28, 2011

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – An FBI agent assigned to move a rare Ferrari wrecked it during a short drive in Kentucky, and its owner is now suing the U.S. Justice Department, which has refused to pay $750,000 for the car.

The Justice Department recently responded to the lawsuit by saying it’s not liable for certain goods when they’re in the hands of law enforcement. The government also has refused to release most documents related to the crash.

The Ferrari F50 was stolen in 2003 from a dealer in Rosemont, Pa., and discovered five years later. The FBI kept it in Lexington, Ky., as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

FBI agent Fred Kingston was to move the Ferrari from a garage in May 2009. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson said Kingston invited him on a “short ride.”

“Just a few seconds after we left the parking lot, we went around a curve and the rear of the car began sliding,” Thompson said in an email released to Motors Insurance Co., the dealer’s insurer.

“The agent tried to regain control but the car fishtailed and slid sideways up onto the curb. The vehicle came to rest against a row of bushes and a small tree,” Thompson said.

He was not hurt, but Kingston needed a few stitches for a cut on his head.

Motors Insurance took ownership of the car after it paid the dealer for the theft. The company told the government that the 1995 Ferrari, one of only 50 in the U.S., suffered substantial damage in the Kentucky crash and is a “total loss.”

“At heart, it is a race vehicle” and is not built like a typical car, truck or SUV, the insurer said in a claim for payment, partly explaining why it sought $750,000.

The Southfield, Mich.-based company filed a lawsuit in March after the Justice Department refused to pay. Motors Insurance has also filed a lawsuit to try to get records about the incident through the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The government has been secretive, saying most records are exempt. It only released Thompson’s email.

“We don’t really know what happened. We’ve asked for a lot of information,” Motors Insurance attorney Richard Kraus said in an interview this week.

A judge has set a June 13 hearing in the case.

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