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Mexico: anti-narco spyware turned on rights investigators

Posted on July 11th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

Mexico The horrific case of 43 college students from the Mexican village of Ayotzinapa who disappeared in September 2014—and were allegedly murdered by a local narco-gang—made deeply embarrassing international headlines again this week. The New York Times reports July 10 that sophisticated spyware supplied to Mexico officially to track narco-traffickers and terrorists was instead used against human rights investigators looking into the Ayotzinapa case.

IRS forfeits totally legal money: investigation

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchAn investigation by the US Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration, launched under pressure of litigation brought by the libertarian-leaning Institute for Justice, maddeningly finds that the Internal Revenue Service has been using asset forfeiture to confiscate millions of dollars from businesses that committed no crimes. The libertarian-oriented website Reason breaks it down in detail, stating that "between 2012 and 2014, IRS investigators seized hundreds of bank accounts from business owners based on nothing but a suspicious pattern of deposits. In more than 90 percent of those cases, the money was completely legal."

New York high court: cops can seize user Facebook activity

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchBe careful what you say on Facebook. New York state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled on April 4 that law enforcement can seize private account information from the social networking site. With the decision, Facebook lost its years-long legal battle to block search warrants from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office seeking access to hundreds of user accounts, the New York Post reports.

Trump pledges to escalate drug war

Posted on February 9th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchIn a speech to police chiefs and sheriffs at the Washington DC meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association Feb. 9, Donald Trump dealt a harsh blow to any activists who may have been hoping for a tolerant stance on drugs from the United States' new president. As the conservative RedState.com blog happily headlines: "Trump Promises to Ramp Up the War on Drugs." With an almost touching innocence, it writes: "Citing his border wall as a solution along with confidence" in his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, "Trump apparently believes he will succeed where everyone else has failed."

Hackers hit cannabis dispensary tracking software

Posted on January 12th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchAmid all the current paranoia about hackers infiltrating the highest levels of American politics comes the disturbing news that software used by cannabis businesses in over 20 states was attacked and compromised. The story was reported both by the cannabis industry trade website Marijuana Business Daily and tech sites that monitor such attacks, including Hackbusters and DataBreaches. The software, known as MJ Freeway, is used for "seed-to-sale" tracking of cannabis in states that have legalized or passed medical marijuana laws. The Denver-based company said its main servers and backup system both went down the morning of Jan. 8, and remained offline as of the next afternoon.

Trump appoints drug war general to lead Homeland Security

Posted on December 8th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchPresident-elect Donald Trump is reported to have named the former chief of the Pentagon's Southern Command, Gen. John Kelly, as his choice for secretary of Homeland Security. As SouthCom chief, Kelly oversaw counter-narcotics operations throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean from late 2012 until his retirement in January 2016. He was a notorious hardliner, which resulted in policy clashes with President Obama, the Washington Post tells us. As Homeland Security chief, he will oversee the 20,000-strong Border Patrol, with responsibility for drug interceptions along the 2,000-mile frontier with Mexico. 

Trump AG pick sparks fear of a cannabis crackdown

Posted on November 21st, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Shadow WatchPresident-elect Donald Trump's transition team announced Nov. 18 that Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions has been named to the post of attorney general. The Republican former US attorney was the first senator to throw his support behind Trump's presidential bid, and he later worked with the candidate to craft his policies on immigration and counter-terrorism. Sessions must face a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where his past inflammatory remarks concerning race and his support for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants may stir opposition. Still, he should be confirmed, as Republicans will likely have a 52-48 advantage over Democrats in the committee.

Rudy 'Stop-and-Frisk' Giuliani named for cabinet post

Posted on November 15th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchFormer New York City mayor and current full-time Trump-booster Rudolph Giuliani is top contender to be secretary of state in the new administration, Trump campaign officials told the New York Times Nov. 15. The account notes that Giulianii invokes his moment of glory in the aftermath of 9-11, and his former work as a federal prosecutor, as giving him credibility to represent the United States on the world stage. During his own abortive presidential run in 2008, he boasted at a Republican primary debate in New Hampshire: "I am the only one here who actually has had to face an Islamic terrorist attack. With regard to foreign policy, I've negotiated with governments when I was in the Justice Department. I worked on a task force on terrorism in the 1970s."

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