Sunspot Solar Observatory: W.T.F? Kiddie porn?

Sunspot Solar Observatory: W.T.F? Kiddie porn?

All is explained. It was a kiddie porn investigation. Wait.


Child pornography reason behind Sunspot Observatory closure, according to court documents
“A federal search warrant reveals that Sunspot Solar Observatory was shut down as FBI agents conducted computer forensic searches for child pornography.

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National Security issues at a non-federal, university-run solar observatory?

I used to know an astonomer who worked at the Suspot Solar Observatory, so when I heard about this, it piqued my curiosity.

The Sunspot Observatory is temporarily closed due to a security issue at the facility that’s located 17 miles south of Cloudcroft in the Sacramento Mountains Friday, an Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) spokeswoman Shari Lifson said.

But when I started looking into it more…

Whoa. WTF?

The FBI showed up and closed the observatory. They ran out all the employees. Then they did the same to the local post office. No one but the feds know why, and they aren’t talking.

The feds aren’t even talking to the sheriff. Local LE isn’t even involved in keeping rubberneckers away.

They brought in a Blackhawk, according to the sheriff. And he said he saw men around antennas and climbing towers.

They shut it down around September 6, and it’s still down. A solar observatory?

Somebody said you robbed a bank.

Over at Vin Suprynowicz’s blog, I alluded to a personal encounter with the FBI. He invited me to elaborate. As it happens, I wrote about on an old, old website I used at the time. I did a little searching and found the original file, now reprinted here.

“Somebody said you robbed a bank.”

By Carl Bussjaeger, 1997

So there I am, spending my lunch hour sitting on a bench at Kiener Plaza, just like so any other downtown workers.

But that’s when things got… different.

First, a bicycle cop rode up. He approached me and said, “Somebody said you robbed a bank.” Naturally, this came as something of a surprise to me. He decided that he needed to search me for weapons. Given my usual proclivities, this could have been a problem- while I wasn’t carrying a gun, I wasn’t completely unarmed either.

Not that it mattered. It was one of the worst body searches I’ve ever seen. He didn’t find anything. Then he went for the record in the stupid question category; “So, have you robbed any banks lately?” My reply- “No, I haven’t robbed any banks.”

While that went on, more cops arrived. Between bicyclists, patrol cars, and unmarked cars, they had 12 cops on the scene. Now things got really stupid.

This is Kiener Plaza, where half the downtown Saint Louis work force spends their lunch hour. If the weather is nice (as it was that day), people come out to eat, and to enjoy the sun and scenery. So there were plenty of people relaxing just like me.

So what does the cop ask? “What are you doing out here?” I looked at him as if he were the idiot he appeared to be and answered, “Sitting.” I gestured all around at the other people doing likewise.

“Oh,” he said.

At this point, the detective told me that I matched the description of a bank robber in a case he is investigating. He then called back to the station on his radio to get the description. Brilliant. The answer came back, “Caucasian, brown hair, 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, mid twenties, wearing a blue ball cap.” Hearing this, a uniformed cop muttered, “Damn, that’s half the guys in Saint Louis.”

So, lessee… I’m caucasian, brown hair, 6 feet. I was wearing a blue cap, emblazoned with my company’s logo and name in large white letters (remember this hat). But I’m afraid my mid-20s were a good ten years ago. And 200 pounds was about 20 pounds ago, darn it.

I’m obviously a perfect match with their suspect. Next, the detective tried to figure out my name. I’m accustomed to mispronunciations, but this…

He read my driver’s license and said, “So, Mr Jagger…” Reading skills evidently aren’t high on the list of required job skills for Saint Louis PD detectives.

“That’s Bussjaeger,” I corrected.

“Oh, Jagger,” he said.

“No, Bush-yager,” I again corrected, giving him the pronunciation slowly and clearly.

“Okay, then, Mr Yager…”

Bush-Yager,” I said again. “Carl Bussjaeger.”

“Oh. Well, Mr Bussjagger…”

Freaking idiot. From there we went through the usual who are you, where do you live, work, park, et cetera.

Then his partner came over and asked the same questions. This guy remembered to write down the answers, though.

Eventually, someone who introduced himself as an FBI agent arrived. “Mr Bussjagger, I’d like to thank you for having to patience to wait here for me…”

I presented him with my best sarcastically dumbfounded expression and said, “Yeah,
right. Like I had a choice.” I gestured at the encircling police. “I’m surrounded by cops.”

“Oh.” He looked puzzled. Then he began questioning me. Not “Where were you on…” or “Can you account for your whereabouts on…” He wanted to know where I lived, worked, parked, et cetera. Again. So I told him. Again.

Work was a problem. He couldn’t seem to get the company name straight. I repeated it several times. He kept mispronouncing it, and jumbling words. Finally, he asked, “How’s that spelled?” I just stared at him, then pointed to my incriminating ball cap (I told you to remember that key piece of evidence against me), still perched on my head. At that point, even the cops started laughing at him.

“Oh.” The FBI obviously has a maximum IQ requirement for its agents. He proceeded to copy the company name from my cap, glancing up at the cap for each individual letter, which he carefully wrote, one at a time- one glance, one character.

Then he wanted to know who I lived with. “Nobody,” I told him.

He frowned. “Nobody?”

“Right. Nobody. I live alone.”

“Huh?” He looked confused.

We went around that for awhile; I can only assume that living alone violates some feddie law or reg.

Eventually, they let me go. After questioning me for the better part of an hour. But none of the questions ever related to any robbery. Other than the stupid question of whether I had robbed any banks lately, I was never asked anything that would properly pertain to a robbery investigation. Maybe some day, I will finally find out what this was really about.

But I was publicly embarrassed by being accosted, questioned, and photographed in Kiener Plaza. I was definitely inconvenienced. And seriously pissed off.

But I never received an explanation or apology. Only the FBI agent ever gave his name. Of the uniformed officers, only two wore name tags. I made a note of those: Cox and Rozier.

Taking this as an example of the skill and professionalism of the Saint Louis police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I can only assume that the real bank robber (if there was one) can continue about his business in perfect safety.

And they wonder why they get no respect…

And for the record, some 21 years later, I have never found out what the hell that was all about.

Can’t say I forgot

Robert Mueller’s forgotten surveillance crime spree
Deceit helped capture those intrusive new prerogatives. The Bush administration suppressed until the following May the news that FBI agents in Phoenix and Minneapolis had warned FBI headquarters of suspicious Arabs in flight training programs prior to 9/11. A House-Senate Joint Intelligence Committee analysis concluded that FBI incompetence and negligence “contributed to the United States becoming, in effect, a sanctuary for radical terrorists.” FBI blundering spurred the Wall Street Journal to call for Mueller’s resignation, while a New York Times headline warned: “Lawmakers Say Misstatements Cloud F.B.I. Chief’s Credibility.”

Hat tip to Vin.

Assuming that’s true…

…despite the moving mouth on a politician…

Schiff Claims House Intel Republicans ‘Secretly Altered’ Spy Memo
California Rep. Adam Schiff claimed Wednesday that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee altered a controversial surveillance memo after the panel voted earlier this week to release the document to the public.

…now you know how we feel when you Congressional motherfuckers change bills — post House and Senate votes — in markup. What can I say, I guess you had to vote on it, so you could find out what would be in it. What difference does it make?

This is either bull shit

…or scary as hell.

U.S. intelligence agencies release analysis of Russian cyber espionage
U.S. intelligence services don’t often release the details of their analysis, but Thursday they did as part of an ongoing effort to pull back the curtain on what U.S. officials believe is malicious Russian cyber activity code named Grizzly Steppe

And they still haven’t released a detailed analysis. Read that “Joint Analysis Report.” In fact, it’s simply yet-another unsubstantiated assertion. No detail in that report supports the claim that the Russian government did this. Maybe they did, but you can’t tell from that doc.

I’m not a pro at this, so I welcome input from someone who is such. As I read it, the JAR simply states that “APT 28/29” used a botnet to send spearphishing emails, which lured dumbasses to a fake web site hosted on a machine that didn’t belong to the “hackers,” and that web site passed the harvested data to yet another neutral machine which, in turn, relayed the data to the actual hackers.

To be able to honestly and definitely say that the Russians did it, the feds (FBI/CIA/NSA/whoever) had to have admin access to the web site host to see what neutral machine the site sent data to. That could come from server logs and/or database files.

Once the next machine is identified, the feds had to have admin access to it, too. They could then analyze server logs or the malicious code to see where it sent data. If you assume that it went straight from that zombie machine to the hackers, you now know the hackers’ IP address, and maybe you can make some claims.

But if the zombie sent the data to another relay between it and the hackers, you have another machine to compromise and analyze. And so on ad infinitum.

Are the feds admitting that they have that many innocent machines on the Internet compromised?

Alternatively, they could have this from human intel: leakers, snitches, spies. But intel from such sources would have to be verified, so we loop back to accessing machines.

Let’s try another scenario. Remember the NSA’s little partnership with AT&T, in which the snoops got to parallel all data running through at least one major Internet backbone router? And then there was the program to intercept routers during shipment and install spyware.

So maybe the NSA simply watched all this happen in near realtime.

Worried yet? Oh, what the heck? It’s only “metadata.”

At any rate, to substantiate the “Russians-did-it” claims, the feds would have to have admin level access to a scary number of Internet servers or routers. To prove the claim, they may have to admit to continuing to do things they’ve sworn up and down they stopped doing.

Comey is obviously planning a new career

Judging by Comey’s bizarre answers in that congressional hearing, he’s clearly looking for a future in stand-up comedy.

Seriously, sending something ‘non-paper’ just means they redact all the classified data and send the unclassified bits; it didn’t mean that they cut off the classification markings and sent it electronically, and we didn’t investigate Clinton lying to Congress because only the IG told us to, but we didn’t have a referral from Congress because we didn’t give Congress the information to know she lied. Or investigating Clinton violated the FRA by witholding emails beyond the deadline, and even lying because she didn’t even turn them all over and we found them later was beyond the investigation’s scope. And so much more. Mostly with a straight face worthy of Josh Earnest

I might have allowed that he recommended no charges out of fear of one of those mysterious accidents and suicides that surround the Clinton’s. But this testimony is so freaking far over the top that he must have been ordered to take one for the team and has been promised some imprressive bennies.


“Oops” (not really)

Gee, no one saw that coming. Except, like, everyone but the Feds.

Loretta Lynch Admits That Federal Authorities Have Lost The Orlando Shooter’s Wife
As US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said today, federal authorities are going back and looking at all of the contact with Omar Mateen, as well as those around him in order find out if there is anything that was missed.

However there is one rather large problem with one key person in the investigation, it appears that Noor Salman is missing and may not even be in the state of Florida anymore. In an interview the Sun Sentinel conducted with Seddique Mateen, the shooter’s father, Seddique said that Salman was “not around here.”

Lynch said the following in response to an inaudible question: “right now I do not know exactly the answer to that, I believe she was going to travel but I do not know exactly her location now”

Consider that: A suspect in a terrorism investigation, whom they knew to be planning a trip, and they didn’t track her. I wonder if they even added her to to no-fly list, or if she’s already left the country.

No doubt she’s traveling with that mysterious $9,000 of jewelry. Which she’s keeping solely for the sentimental value, a reminder of her beloved jihadi husband, and not the whole portable wealth thing. You know, when you fly out of the country, they ask about how cash you’re taking, but not jewelry.

Apple vs FBI: Popcorn time

This is getting funny.

Common Software Would Have Let FBI Unlock Shooter’s iPhone
The county government that owned the iPhone in a high-profile legal battle between Apple Inc. and the Justice Department paid for but never installed a feature that would have allowed the FBI to easily and immediately unlock the phone as part of the terrorism investigation into the shootings that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

If the technology, known as mobile device management, had been installed, San Bernardino officials would have been able to remotely unlock the iPhone for the FBI without the theatrics of a court battle that is now pitting digital privacy rights against national security concerns.

So the county was paying for a service that would have gotten the FBI into the phone and cloud, but never bothered installing it. Instead, they screwed up and reset the cloud password, locking themselves out of what they want. Then they went to a federal judge and lied about how it happened.

And the judge ordered Apple to fix everyone else’s mistakes.

Did I miss anything?