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Link to Original Source
The criminal inquiry, which hasn’t been acknowledged publicly, is aimed at discouraging criminals and spies from infiltrating the U.S. government by using the polygraph-beating techniques, which are said to include controlled breathing, muscle tensing, tongue biting and mental arithmetic.
So far, authorities have targeted at least two instructors, one of whom has pleaded guilty to federal charges, several people familiar with the investigation told McClatchy. Investigators confiscated business records from the two men, which included the names of as many as 5,000 people who’d sought polygraph-beating advice. U.S. agencies have determined that at least 20 of them applied for government and federal contracting jobs, and at least half of that group was hired, including by the National Security Agency.
By attempting to prosecute the instructors, federal officials are adopting a controversial legal stance that sharing such information should be treated as a crime and isn’t protected under the First Amendment in some circumstances."
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In the past, the main goal of seizing drug money (in this case, the bitcoins) has been to gain evidence in building a drug case. Namely, that the physical set of bills was "sent from" a buyer and "received by" someone in exchange for illegal narcotics. The usage of said money to buy new jerseys for the police softball team was always a perk, but ultimately not relevant.
Do you actually believe this? I find it hard to believe that anyone could be so naive. Maybe I'm just missing the sarcasm.
Or maybe you're talking about police in your home country. Here in the U.S.A. police routinely seize valuables with little or no justification, relying on the threat of violence to get what they want in the street and then relying on their privileged positions within the legal and political systems to make sure no one can do anything about it.
Departments are routinely allowed to keep 80% of the money they seize, and the totals routinely reach the millions.
From the ACLU:
In 2008, the Department of Justice's forfeiture fund topped $1 billion. By contrast, in 1986, the year after [the law changed to allow departments to keep most of the money they seize], the fund took in $93.7 million. This money does not account for the hundreds of millions seized by state law enforcement agencies.
The money is the point of the seizures. Any evidentiary value is a bonus.
The inability of MS's teams to work together might have something to do with the atrocious stack ranking method they used for employee evaluation:
“If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, 2 people were going to get a great review, 7 were going to get mediocre reviews, and 1 was going to get a terrible review,” says a former software developer. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”
That's from Vanity Faire from last year. I still find it hard to believe. I used to think Balmer hate was just sort of nerd posturing, but after reading that I realized, no, Balmer really is a clueless jack off doing nothing more than reciting the latest MBA buzzwords he learned from the latest business bestseller.
Remember when the French played coy about if they'd put their military under NATO command if the Russians invaded West Germany? Knowing whether that was just the French being the French or if they seriously planned to sit out WWIII would have been really helpful if you were responsible for U.S. deployments in the Fulda gap. That's why you spy on your allies. Gentlemen don't read each other's mail. Which is why we should avoid hiring gentlemen to work at CIA.
Everyone should (and no doubt did) expect this kind of thing. But in revealing methods and practices and details of operations Snowden has actually done something wrong. Revealing the details of NSA's pervasive spying on American citizens was a public service. Dude should get a medal for that. But revealing the details of how the U.S. is spying on foreign governments today is kinda the textbook definition of a traitor.
On balance I'd say Snowden has still been a net positive -- the NSA operation is evil, immoral, and unconstitutional. It's worth losing some diplomatic intelligence in order to expose it. But it's not like that was the inevitable price -- he chose to reveal this new stuff in addition to the earlier revelations.
People will almost always say that those things can never happen here in the US. It happens in other places in the world but never here.
It already has happened here. How many tens of thousands of innocent Americans did we imprison during WWII because they happened to be of Japanese descent?