Top Democrat Demands ISIS Strategy from Obama, Kerry

From David Martosko at The Daily Mail:

A key Democratic lawmaker threatened congressional hearings on Tuesday over the Obama administration’s lack of action to confront ISIS, the Islamist terror group responsible for beheading two American journalists and distributing the gory videos.

New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s ranking Democrat, said during a conference call with reporters that he and Republican committee chair Rep. Ed Royce plan to call hearings this month to oversee the president’s airstrike campaign against the Islamist group in Iraq and bring some focus to the White House’s strategic thinking.

‘The threat of ISIS is just something that I believe very strongly that we cannot take lightly,’ Engel said of the terrorist self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

‘We cannot dither, we cannot just twiddle our thumbs, or wait and see,’ he insisted. ‘We have to act and we have to act soon. The more countries that we can get in this crusade to destroy terrorism … the better it will be.’

Vice President Joe Biden followed on Wednesday with war drums in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, saying the U.S. would follow ISIS ‘to the gates of hell.’

Read the rest of the story at The Daily Mail.

Source: Breitbart Feed

And Justice for All: Two CA Judges Censured for Having Sex in Chambers

Two California judges were censured by the judicial disciplinary commission for having sexual relations in their courthouse chambers.

The most severe public reprimand the Commission on Judicial Performance can exercise against a judge was levied on Orange County Judge Scott Steiner for having sex with two of his former Chapman University law students and Kern County Judge Cory Woodward for having violated the chamber during his ten month relationship with a court clerk.

Neither of the judges, however, were removed from the bench, reported SFGate.

The commission observed that having sex in the chamber, even if it is consensual, is the “the height of irresponsible and improper behavior by a judge,” and demonstrates “utter disrespect for the dignity and decorum of the court.”

According to SFGate, Steiner had sex in his chambers in 2012 with an attorney and an intern, both of whom had been his students when he taught law at Chapman.

Woodward, who sent “notes of a sexual nature” to a court clerk during court proceedings, also had sex with her during his dalliance, which carried on from July 2012 through May 2013.

Presciently, the 1979 movie And Justice for All depicted corruption in a Maryland court system, which included a judge having sex in his chambers. At the time, it was criticized at the time for being too outrageous. Evidently, the movie wasn’t quite that outrageous after all.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Report: Miami Schools Struggle to Absorb 1,400 Migrant Youths

The Obama administration has released more than 37,000 illegal immigrant minors throughout the country and into the care of family members and sponsors this year. 

The majority of the illegal immigrant minors are of school age and eligible to attend public schools. The Department of Education has stressed that students may be enrolled in public schools regardless of their immigration status. 

Local school systems this year must now deal with the influx. A recent report from NPR which looked at the situation in Miami and the difficulties of coping with high volumes of new foreign students. 

“Everybody, I am a teacher, we are students,” an instructor coaches in one of six new “English for Speakers of Other Languages” classes at Miami Jackson High School in NPR’s report titled “Miami Struggles To Embrace Unaccompanied Immigrants.”

“These kids have basically all been here within a couple of months. I think the ones that have been here the longest have been three months. We had one just entered a week ago,” Miami Jackson High School Principal Carlos Rios told NPR, which reported that most of the new students are from Central America and part of the recent crisis of unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally.

According to NPR the Miami-Dade school district has enrolled about 1,400 Central American youths — 800 more than the year before. 

Rios told NPR that 170 of the minors from Central America are now in his school. 

“Obviously the first week of school saw about 100 students come in, and it hasn’t stopped. And you see the office out there, there’s still parents coming in, there’s still students coming in,” he said. 

A teacher described to NPR the wide range of education levels the school is seeing.

“Mostly level ones, no English. Some good background education where the language would be just the issue. And some with very little education where it’s a bigger battle,” she said. 

An analysis released Tuesday from the Federation for American Immigration Reform revealed that the cost of educating this most recent influx of unaccompanied illegal immigrant migrants could top $761 million this school year. 

“These kids will require special Limited English Proficient (LEP) classes conducted in Spanish, or in other languages indigenous to Central American, as well as other taxpayer funded services, such as free and reduced school meals. Once again the costs of federal government’s failed immigration policies are borne at the local level, and the nation’s public school system is where the costs are most visible,” FAIR explained.

Based on FAIR’s analysis Florida, home to more than 3,800 unaccompanied minors, could see the cost of educating those of school age to be $56,773,589. 

Source: Breitbart Feed

Thousands of Immigrants ‘Disappear’ After Being Let into US With Student Visas

HOUSTON, Texas — More than 6,000 immigrants, who came to the U.S. using student visas, are nowhere to be found on their school campuses. They have vanished. 

According to ABC News, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the missing 6,000 students are of “heightened concern.” Officials have not been able to successfully track down these individuals. Peter Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told ABC that some of the foreigners “could be here to do us harm. … My greatest concern is that they could be doing anything.”

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn added, “They just disappear. They get the visas and they disappear.”

Students obtaining and then overstaying Visas has been of concern to officials for years. 

Hani Hanjour, the hijacker of Flight 77 on 9/11 who flew a plane into the Pentagon, had entered the U.S. using a student Visa–he never showed up at school. 

Amid this issue, the U.S. has recently increased the number of foreigners allowed in the country on student Visas; the figure is now well above 1 million, according to ABC. 

Breitbart Texas Contributing Editor and border security expert Sylvia Longmire said, “This is a problem that has been going on for decades, and not just with student visas or post-9/11. The DHS also has no concrete idea of exactly how many immigrants and visitors have overstayed their work or travel visas, or where they can be found.”

“The fact that they can’t locate these 6,000+ students is disturbing enough, before you tack on all the other overstays,” Longmire continued. “Based on current immigration policies, unless these students have some sort of criminal history, they will likely not become a priority for ICE to find out where they are and place them into removal proceedings.”

Follow Kristin Tate @KristinBTate

Source: Breitbart Feed

Mystery of the Android attack towers

Here’s a little high-tech ghost story to give you chills, just in case you weren’t already freaked out enough by the Nude Celebrity Hack, or the possible theft of a large trove of credit card numbers from Home Depot:

Typical smartphones have a number of potential data insecurities, caused by their constant efforts to connect with various networks, and the way they keep most of their background activities conveniently hidden from the user.  We just want the things to work.  We don’t want our phone screens covered with impenetrable technobabble explaining exactly what the phone is doing at any given moment.

A company called ESD America decided to create a truly secure cell phone, which they dubbed the CryptoPhone 500, which combines heavy encryption of all communications with a reported 468 fixes to security flaws in the stock Android smartphone operating system.  Among its other features, the CryptoPhone 500 wants users when it detects suspicious network activity or active efforts to hack into it.  If you’re getting the impression these babies don’t come cheap, you’re right – they cost about $3500.  ESD America says it can’t make them fast enough to keep up with demand.

Guess what happened when a bunch of people with these “armored” smartphones started tooling around America and sniffing for security vulnerabilities?  Popular Science reports they discovered quite a few phony cell phone towers – possibly mobile installations – which were designed to attack smart phones that came into range:

To show what the CryptoPhone can do that less expensive competitors cannot, [ESD America CEO Les Goldsmith] points me to a map that he and his customers have created, indicating 17 different phony cell towers known as “interceptors,” detected by the CryptoPhone 500 around the United States during the month of July alone. (The map below is from August.)  Interceptors look to a typical phone like an ordinary tower.  Once the phone connects with the interceptor, a variety of “over-the-air” attacks become possible, from eavesdropping on calls and texts to pushing spyware to the device.

“Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated,” Goldsmith says.  “One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found 8 different interceptors on that trip.  We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

Holy cow.  Let us pause to take due account of the fact that Goldsmith has incentives to hype the dire security situation facing “soft” smartphone users, to boost sales of his expensive product to well-heeled people with paranoid inclinations.  Let us also observe that the CryptoPhone500 could be misinterpreting the signals it is receiving, or the users could be misunderstanding what their complex devices are trying to tell them.  

Having said that, Popular Science and some other sources I’ve read on the subject sound fairly confident that the interceptor towers are a real phenomenon, and the CryptoPhones are accurately detecting them.  ESD America tested the detection capabilities of its phones by driving them past U.S. government facilities known to have cell phone interception technology, which must have made for some lively afternoons.

Who’s running these interceptors?  They turn out to be complex and expensive pieces of equipment, so it’s probably not a bunch of basement hackers fooling around, although it has been demonstrated that basic cell phone interceptors can be cobbled together for only a few thousand dollars.  Goldsmith is pretty sure it’s the government, but he’s not entirely sure which one:

“What we find suspicious is that a lot of these interceptors are right on top of U.S. military bases.  So we begin to wonder – are some of them U.S. government interceptors?  Or are some of them Chinese interceptors?” says Goldsmith.  “Whose interceptor is it?  Who are they, that’s listening to calls around military bases?  Is it just the U.S. military, or are they foreign governments doing it?  The point is: we don’t really know whose they are.”

As Popular Science notes, just a few weeks ago the FCC opened an investigation into “the use of interceptors against Americans by foreign intelligence services and criminal gangs.”  Speaking of foreign intelligence services, the smartphone security environment is even more hostile in certain authoritarian regions overseas.  As one security consultant quoted by Popular Science put it, “I’m not bringing anything into China that I’m not willing to throw away on my return trip.”

Evidently normal phones take virtually no account of attacks from these phony cell phone towers; the most you’re likely to see, if you happen to be looking at your phone at precisely the right moment, is a brief downgrade from the usual 4G data service to one of the older, slower network protocols, such as 2G.  That’s because the interceptors work by tricking phones into using those older, less secure protocols.  Once you’ve read up on these mysterious interceptors, you’ll feel a little chill every time you see the status indicators in your phone’s toolbar do something weird.

Source: Breitbart Feed