southern district of new york

There is a mystique about the F.B.I., but the organization is still made up of human beings. “It is a really complicated agency and there have always been managerial issues,” says Dan Richman, a Columbia Law School professor and former federal prosecutor …. “It is supposed to be apolitical, but in a world where criminal investigations have an impact on politics it is going to be complicated.”

F.B.I. agents still tend to be white males.… A current agent also says that there’s a strong conservative bent: if a TV is on in an F.B.I. building, it’s likely to be Fox News.

But even within the F.B.I., there are tensions. “There are three F.B.I.’s,” this agent tells me. “There are the [56] field offices, there’s [headquarters in] Washington, and then there’s [the field office in] New York.”

Often, a retired agent says, those in the field are suspicious of Washington. “Dreamland,” they called it in his day, because they believed those who weren’t on the ground investigating cases were clueless. “[Agents] out in the field never want to give a case to D.C., because they believe headquarters is a hindrance to their investigations,” says the agent, who also notes there is a paranoia that politics might interfere at headquarters. New York has an especially dim view of Washington and a reputation for fierce independence. “There is a renegade quality to the New York F.B.I.,” says a former prosecutor, which, he claims, can take the form of agents leaking to the press to advance their own interests or to influence an investigation. “New York leaks like a sieve,” concurs another former prosecutor.

There is also tension with the prosecutors in the Justice Department. The F.B.I.’s job is to investigate potential crimes, but they need one of the 93 U.S. Attorney’s Offices, or an attorney at so-called Main Justice, in Washington, to open a case. Agents often feel that prosecutors aren’t bold enough to bring the cases the F.B.I. has investigated. “If prosecutors don’t move forward, it’s often perceived by agents that they didn’t have the stones,” says Ronald Hosko, who was assistant director of the F.B.I.’s Criminal Investigative Division until he retired in 2014. Prosecutors, on the other hand, think that agents don’t want to understand the legal nuances that may separate smoke from prosecutable cases. “The F.B.I. thinks everything is criminal, particularly if they have spent more than a week on it,” says a veteran prosecutor.

—  Bethany MacLean, quoting an unnamed FBI agent

Edith “Edie” Windsor was an LGBT rights activist and technology manager at IBM. She became an gay rights icon in 2013 when she sued the federal government to recognise her same-sex marriage which successfully overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, giving same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time. 

Windsor was born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, who lost both their home and business during the great depression. Windsor never grew up thinking she’d deviate from the norm and do anything rather than settle down with a man and keep house. After graduating from college, she married Saul Windsor but after realising that she’d much rather be with women, they divorced after less than a year of marriage. 

In 1957, Windsor achieved a masters degree in mathematics from New York University. She then began working for IBM in senior technical and management positions relating to systems architecture and implementation of operating systems and natural language processors. 

After a decade, she became a Senior Systems Programmer, the highest level technical position at IBM and became the first person in New York City to receive an IBM PC. During this time, Windsor had met her future wife, Thea Spyer. Initially, they kept their relationship a secret and pretended that Windsor was initially in a relationship with Spyer’s fictional brother. 

In 1967, Spyer proposed to Windsor although at the time, their marriage would not have been legal. The two moved in together, but IBM refused to recognise their relationship and denied Windsor from naming Spyer as her beneficiary on her insurance. Windsor and Spyer became involved in LGBT rights marches and events following the Stonewall Riots in 1969. In 1975, Windsor left IBM after the company moved out of the area and devoted herself to LGBT organisations, volunteering for the  Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the East End Gay Organization, the LGBT Community Center, 1994 Gay Games New York, and helped found Old Queers Acting Up, an improv group utilizing skits to address social justice issues. She served on the board of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) from 1986 to 1988 and again from 2005 to 2007. 

In 2009, after the death of Spyer, Windsor was ordered to pay $363,053 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance of her wife’s estate as federal law did not recognise their marriage, despite the fact that they had married two years earlier in Toronto. If it had, she would not have been liable for any federal estate taxes at all. When trying to claim federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses, Windsor found she was unable to do so due to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). 

In 2010, Windsor sued the federal government in the  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for a refund as DOMA had meant that legally married same-sex couples for “differential treatment compared to other similarly situated couples without justification.” In 2013, Section 3 of DOMA was ruled unconstitutional and same-sex marriages were finally given federal recognition. 

In 2016, Windsor married her second wife, Judith Kasen, a vice president at Wells Fargo Advisors. 

In September 2017, it was announced that Windsor had died at the age of 88. During her lifetime, she was the recipient of many honours including the Joyce Warshaw Lifetime Achievement Award by the SAGE, the New York City Council Award, the Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty, the Presidential medal and the Women’s Rights Award. In 2016, Lesbians in Tech created the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund. 

Sources here, here and here

anonymous asked:

Could you tell us about Hamilton's relationship with his children? I know he closed himself even more after Philip's death, but what about the other 7? Was he close to them?

All sources from Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

Of Alexander and Eliza’s eight children–Philip Hamilton, Angelica Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton Jr., James Alexander Hamilton, John Church Hamilton, William S. Hamilton, Eliza Hamilton and “Little Phil” Hamilton–not one appeared to utter a single unkind word about their father.

On January 22, 1782, Eliza gave birth to a son, named Philip Hamilton. On his birth, Alexander Hamilton wrote, “whose birth, as you may imagine, was attended with all the omens of future greatness.” He used to rock Philip’s cradle and played with the infant. At seven months, “it is agreed on all hands that he is handsome, his features are good, his eye is not only sprightly and expressive, but it is full of benignity. His attitude in sitting is by connoisseurs esteemed graceful and he had a method of waving his hand that announces the future orator. He stands however rather awkwardly and his legs have not at all the delicate slimness of his father’s… If he had any fault in manners, he laughs too much.”

On September 25th, 1784, the Hamiltons had their first daughter named Angelica. Their third child, Alexander was born on May 16th, 1786. Due to Hamilton’s busyness, Eliza ran the household and supervised the education of their children when they were small.

According to Ron Chernow, fourth born James Alexander Hamilton was their “favorite child”. Eliza gave birth to James Alexander on April 14th. While at Columbia, James frequently sought his fathers advice, urging him to review speeches had had written and etc. 

On October 12, 1788, the Hamiltons went down to the end of Wall Street and had Philip, Angelica and Alexander all baptized at the same time at Trinity Church. 

James Hamilton said,

“His [Alexander Hamilton sr.] gentle nature rendered his house a most joyous one to his children and friends. He accompanied his daughter Angelica when she played and sang at the piano. His intercourse with his children was always affectionate and confiding, which excited in them a corresponding confidence and devotion.”

Angelica Hamilton was very musical inclined and her father had Angelica Church find the best piano that she could find his daughter. When they were in separate cities, Hamilton usually kept one of the younger boys with him. He worried much about his children and enjoyed tutoring them. He had high expectations and wanted them to exceed. 1791, age nine, Philip and Alexander Jr. were sent off to boarding school in Trenton. Hamilton wrote this to his Philip:

“Your teacher also informs me that you recited a lesson the first day you began, very much to his satisfaction. I expect every letter from him will give me a fresh proof of your progress, for I know you can do a great deal if you please. And I am sure you have too much spirit not to exert yourself that you may make us every day more and more proud of you.”

A letter to his daughter, Angelica:

“I was very glad to learn, my dear daughter, that you were going to begin the study of the French language. We hope you will in every respect behave in such a manner as will secure to you the goodwill and regard of all those with whom you are. If you happen to displease any of them, be always ready to make a frank apology. But the best way is to act with so much politeness, good manners and circumspection as never to have an occasion to make any apology. Your mother joins in best love to you. Adieu, my very dear daughter.”

On August 22nd, 1792 Eliza gave birth to their fifth child, John Church Hamilton. In 1784, John began several ill and Hamilton–who scarcely asked for a vacation–pleaded with Washington to allow him “permission to make an excursion into the country for a few days to try the effect of exercise and change of air upon the child.”

A couple months after publishing the Reynold’s pamphlet, Hamilton had a scare after Philip nearly died of severe fever of some sort of typhus. In tending to Philip, Hamilton was both nurse and physician, leaving the doctor amazed by both his medical knowledge and his closeness towards his children. When he learned his son was to be well, the doctor said there were tears in the father’s eyes.

On August 4th, 1797, Eliza gave birth to a healthy baby, William Stephen Hamilton. 

On multiple occasions, Hamilton would have his six year old son John Church write his letters for him, taking bizarre precaution to that his letters would not bear his handwriting during his plots in the Adams cabinet.  

Smart Philip Hamilton walked in the footsteps of his father. He graduated in 1800 with high honors, was a good speaker and studied to be a lawyer. Hamilton regarded Philip as the family’s “eldest and brightest hope”. Hamilton had a prepared daily schedule for Philip that included writing, reading, church and ruled his waking moments from dawn to dusk. Philip did have reliance and rebellious streak which his father tolerated, “I am anxious to here from Philip. Naughty young man.”  Before Philip’s duel with George Eacker,, he sought counsel from his father who told him that he should throw away his shot on the dueling ground. At the duel, Philip followed his father’s advise and did not raise his pistol at the command to fire. Eacker mirrored and they stood dumbly staring at one another. Finally, Eacker lifted his pistol and Philip did like wise. Eacker then shot Philip and he fell.

When Alexander Hamilton learned of what had occurred, he called for Dr. Hosack who later recalled that Hamilton was “so much overcome by his anxiety that he fainted and remained for some time in my family before he was sufficiently recovered to proceed.” The entire night, Alexander stayed with Philip at his bedside, and when he had to approach his son’s gravestone, his friends had to help him stand. Seventeen-year-old Angelica Hamilton who was extremely close with her brother suffered a mental breakdown and her father tried to restore her health. He got others to send her watermelons and birds (she liked birds), this didn’t work and she only grew worse.  

After Philip’s death he fell into the deepest depression he had ever felt. Usually in his grief, he was able to publish papers and worked endlessly. This time, Hamilton was unable to write any more and did not respond to any of his correspondence for four months. Even his physical appearance was altered, always appearing troubled, melancholy and the childish glean that flinted across his eyes, had parted.

When Eliza went off to care for his father (her mother had recently passed) and Hamilton took care of their children at home.

In Hamilton’s duel with Burr, he used to very same dueling pistols that Eacker and Philip had used–a pair of guns that had caused the death of his son. It is possible Hamilton wanted to use to pistols as a homage to his son.

On his death bed, Hamilton had not been able to see his children until it was time to bid farewell. “She held up their two-year-old boy, Philip, to his lips for a final kiss. Then Eliza lined up all seven children at the foot of the bed so that Hamilton could see them in one final tableau, a sight that rendered him speechless.” According to the doctor, “he opened his eyes, gave them one look, and closed them again till they were taken away.” At his funeral on July 14th, 1804, the procession was followed by two of Hamilton’s oldest sons, James Alexander and Alexander Jr. Angelica Hamilton, four-year-old Eliza Hamilton and Philip Hamilton stayed with their mother, whom was not at the funeral. Gouverneur Morris gave the eulogy and sitting beside him on the stage weeping was Alexander (eighteen), James (fourteen), John (eleven) and William (six). 

“The scene was impressive and what added unspeakably to its solemnity was the mournful ground of tender boys, the sons, the once hopes and joys of the deceased, who, with tears gushing from their eyes, sat upon the stage, at the feet of the orator, bewailing the loss of their parent! It was too much. The sternest powers, the bloodiest villain, could not resist the melting scene.”

Of their five sons post-duel they all gravitated towards law, government and military (the Hamiltonian way). 

Angelica Hamilton lived under a physicians care and died in 1857.

 Alexander Jr. Hamilton graduated from Columbia University weeks after his father’s duel. He became a lawyer, fought over seas in the duke of Wellington’s army, returned to America as an infantry captain during the War of 1812, and wound up as US district attorney in New York. He represented Eliza Jumel when she divorced Aaron Burr. 

James Alexander Hamilton graduated from Columbia, served as an officer in the War of 1812 and was an acting secretary of state under President Andrew Jackson (and surprising was against the second bank of the United States) and became attorney for the southern district of New York. He developed a close relationship with Martin Van Buren and was an early supporter of emancipation of slaves. As a tribute to his father, he created a home which he called “Nevis”.

John Church Hamilton was a lawyer who fought in the War of 1812, and devoted decades to writing a biography of his father and sorting throughout his papers. 

William Stephen Hamilton was “charming, handsome and eccentric”. He studied at West Point, fought at Black Hawk War, surveyed lands in Illinois and lived on the Western frontier. In 1849, he was drawn to California because of the gold rush, and opened a store to sell supplies. He died there of Cholera in 1850. 

Eliza Hamilton cared for her mother in her later years and scolded her brother John at getting the seven volume biography done quicker. 

“Little Phil” Hamilton was a “kindhearted, sensitive man”. He married the daughter of Louis McLane, daughter of a member of Andrew Jackson’s cabinet. He served as an assistant US attorney under his brother James but leaned on altruistic pursuits and was a reputation of “lawyer of the poor”.


I’d further supplement that the Capital District extends as far as Saratoga, but that’s just me.

I will allow the use of ‘upstate’ as a directional (”I’m heading upstate”), but not as a regional indicator for anything below Lake George.

And seriously, Buffalo, get your shit together with this ‘pop’ nonsense. You’re the only other bastion of blue once you go west of Schenectady. Keep it together.
Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria
“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”
By James Somers

You were going to get one-click access to the full text of nearly every book that’s ever been published. Books still in print you’d have to pay for, but everything else—a collection slated to grow larger than the holdings at the Library of Congress, Harvard, the University of Michigan, at any of the great national libraries of Europe—would have been available for free at terminals that were going to be placed in every local library that wanted one.

At the terminal you were going to be able to search tens of millions of books and read every page of any book you found. You’d be able to highlight passages and make annotations and share them; for the first time, you’d be able to pinpoint an idea somewhere inside the vastness of the printed record, and send somebody straight to it with a link. Books would become as instantly available, searchable, copy-pasteable—as alive in the digital world—as web pages.

It was to be the realization of a long-held dream. “The universal library has been talked about for millennia,” Richard Ovenden, the head of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, has said. “It was possible to think in the Renaissance that you might be able to amass the whole of published knowledge in a single room or a single institution.” In the spring of 2011, it seemed we’d amassed it in a terminal small enough to fit on a desk.

“This is a watershed event and can serve as a catalyst for the reinvention of education, research, and intellectual life,” one eager observer wrote at the time.

On March 22 of that year, however, the legal agreement that would have unlocked a century’s worth of books and peppered the country with access terminals to a universal library was rejected under Rule 23(e)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

[…] The class action suit filed earlier this month in the Southern District Court of New York alleges “systemic civil rights violations” against blind and visually-impaired theatergoers, an accusation prompted when plaintiff Mark B. Lasser, a blind theatergoer from Denver, Colo., contacted the “Hamilton” box office about audio description services and was told none were available. That violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the suit.

Broadway does have multiple accessibility programs in place, as highlighted by a partnership between the Broadway League, the producers’ trade association, and Theatre Development Fund, the New York nonprofit that also operates the TKTS booth. Wheelchair-friendly seat locations, captioning and sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired, autism-friendly performances, and audio description for the visually impaired are all available. Last year, the League and TDF teamed to launch Theater Access NYC, an online resource for theatergoers looking for performances presented with accessibility services.

But while some services are on-demand and available at any performance — such as wheelchair seats and private iCaption devices — others, like sign-language interpretation and autism-friendly shows, are only available intermittently. Not all productions make all options available, and audio description for the visually impaired, the service that is at the root of the “Hamilton” lawsuit, is among the least-implemented on Broadway.

“Hamilton,” however, isn’t the only show not to offer audio description — not by a long shot. According to the Theater Access NYC website, only four productions over the next 30 days offer audio description: “Aladdin,” “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked.”


Because “Hamilton” isn’t alone in lacking audio description offerings, the singling out of that particular show — the theater industry’s headline-grabbing megasmash — seems strategic. Attorney for the plaintiff Scott R. Dinin, who’s worked on multiple cases centered around accessibility, points out the suit isn’t pressing for damages, but for the show to comply with the ADA by taking “the steps necessary to provide audio description equipment and live narration services once a week with 25 audio sets for each show in Richard Rodgers Theater for individuals who are blind or visually-impaired.”

“I’m hoping through this lawsuit we can bring all Broadway to the table,” he said.
There's 'absolutely evidence' to begin obstruction of justice case on Trump: Bharara
By ABC News

Former New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said “there’s absolutely evidence to begin a case” for obstruction of justice against President Donald Trump.

The former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York was responding to a question from ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on “This Week” Sunday.

Stephanopoulos asked whether as a former prosecutor, Bharara believes there is enough evidence for a case claiming that Trump tried to obstruct the FBI investigation of the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

“There is absolutely evidence to begin a case” for obstruction of justice by Trump, Bharara said in his first television interview since being fired by Trump in March.
House Democrats want to know why a major Russian money-laundering case was abruptly settled
Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday asking why the Department of Justice settled a major money-laundering case involving a real-estate company owned by the son of a powerful Russian government official whose lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr. last year.
By Natasha Bertrand

Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, on Tuesday tweeted an email chain from June 2016 in which he entertained accepting damaging information from a “Russian government attorney” about Hillary Clinton as part of the Kremlin’s support for his father’s campaign.

That attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, represents the family of Pyotr Katsyv, the former vice governor of the Moscow region, whose son, Denis, owns the real-estate company Prevezon. The DOJ had been investigating whether Prevezon laundered millions of dollars through New York City real estate when the case was unexpectedly settled two days before going to trial in May.

“Last summer, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected attorney in an attempt to obtain information ‘that would incriminate Hillary,’” the Democrats wrote, citing the emails he published. “Earlier this year, on May 12, 2017, the Department of Justice made an abrupt decision to settle a money laundering case being handled by that same attorney in the Southern District of New York.

"We write with some concern that the two events may be connected — and that the Department may have settled the case at a loss for the United States in order to obscure the underlying facts.”

The Prevezon case garnered high-profile attention, given its ties to a $230 million Russian tax-fraud scheme and the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, whose suspicious death aroused international media attention and spurred the passage of the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Denis Katsyv and Veselnitskaya have become the face of Moscow’s lobbying efforts against the Magnitsky Act in recent years.

Democrats now want to know whether Veselnitskaya was “involved at any point in the settlement negotiations,” and they have asked Sessions to provide the committee “with the prosecution files and any other explanatory materials related to the settlement.”

They also want to know whether there was “any contact between President Trump, White House personnel, the Trump family, or the Trump campaign with the Department of Justice” regarding Prevezon, and whether Sessions discussed the case “with anyone associated with the transition team,” or with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, while he was being considered for attorney general.

Both the US government and Prevezon claimed victory in the wake of the settlement.

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office told Business Insider at the time that the settlement saved taxpayers the expense of a trial, and he reiterated that the settlement was for “many multiples more” than the amount in fraud proceeds the government alleged were laundered through the New York real-estate purchases. He characterized it as a “very good outcome” for the government.

But Prevezon described the settlement as proof that the company had done nothing wrong. It said it considered the offer from prosecutors “too good to refuse.”

Read More
Paul McCartney Settles with Sony/ATV to Reclaim Beatles Copyright
Sony Music and McCartney settle suit filed in January to reclaim rights to over 260 songs. Case remains dismissed until conflict emerges.
By Reuters

Paul McCartney has reached a confidential settlement of his lawsuit against Sony/ATV Music Publishing in which he sought to reclaim copyrights to songs by the Beatles.

The accord disclosed on Thursday in filings with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan ends the 75-year-old McCartney’s pre-emptive effort to ensure that the copyrights, once owned by Michael Jackson, would go to him starting in October 2018.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos signed an order dismissing the case, but agreed to revisit it if a dispute arose.

The dismissal request had been made by Michael Jacobs, a lawyer for McCartney, on behalf of the singer and Sony/ATV.

It is unclear how the accord affects McCartney’s copyright claims. The singer’s representatives could not immediately be reached on Friday for comment.

McCartney had sued on Jan. 18 for a declaration that he could reclaim more than 260 copyrights, including for songs credited to him and John Lennon such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude.”

The registrations at issue also covered “Maybe I’m Amazed” and several other songs McCartney recorded as a solo artist.

They even covered such titles as “Scrambled Egg,” which is close to the working lyric “Scrambled Eggs” that McCartney once used for the song that became “Yesterday.”

McCartney had been outbid by Jackson in 1985 for the Beatles’ song rights, which were later rolled into Sony/ATV, a joint venture with Sony Corp.

The pop star’s estate sold its stake in that venture to Sony for $750 million last year.

McCartney sued 1-½ months after a British court said the pop group Duran Duran could not reclaim rights to their songs, in its case against Sony/ATV’s Gloucester Place Music unit.

Changes made in 1976 to U.S. copyright law let authors like McCartney reclaim song rights after periods of time elapsed.

In his lawsuit, McCartney said he could begin exercising his rights on Beatles songs, starting with “Love Me Do,” on Oct. 5, 2018.

The case is McCartney v Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-00363.
House Democrats want to know why a major Russian money-laundering case was abruptly settled
Democrats sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking why the Department of Justice decided to settle a major money-laundering case.
By Natasha Bertrand

Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday asking why the Department of Justice settled a major money-laundering case involving a real-estate company owned by the son of a powerful Russian government official whose lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr. last year.

Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, on Tuesday tweeted an email chain from June 2016 in which he entertained accepting damaging information from a “Russian government attorney” about Hillary Clinton as part of the Kremlin’s support for his father’s campaign.

That attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, represents the family of Pyotr Katsyv, the former vice governor of the Moscow region, whose son, Denis, owns the real-estate company Prevezon. The DOJ had been investigating whether Prevezon laundered millions of dollars through New York City real estate when the case was unexpectedly settled two days before going to trial in May.

“Last summer, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected attorney in an attempt to obtain information ‘that would incriminate Hillary,’” the Democrats wrote, citing the emails he published. “Earlier this year, on May 12, 2017, the Department of Justice made an abrupt decision to settle a money laundering case being handled by that same attorney in the Southern District of New York.

Release of the FISC Opinion Approving the 2016 Section 702 Certifications and Other Related Documents

May 11, 2017

Today the ODNI, in consultation with the Department of Justice, is releasing three sets of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Section 702 documents in redacted form.

First, we are releasing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s (FISC) Memorandum and Opinion approving the 2016 Section 702 Certifications (dated April 26, 2017, and hereafter the April 2017 Opinion). We are releasing this Opinion in keeping with the Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community.

Second, we are releasing National Security Agency’s (NSA) updated Section 702 targeting and minimization procedures that were approved as part of the FISC’s April 2017 Opinion. Note that targeting procedures have not previously been released. We are releasing these procedures also in keeping with the Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community.

Finally, we are publicly posting two separate tranches of Section 702 documents that are being released pursuant to a Freedom of Information (FOIA) case filed in the Southern District of New York, ACLU v. National Security Agency, et al. (hereafter the ACLU FOIA release April 11, 2017, and the ACLU FOIA release May 10, 2017).

ODNI notes that, separately, NSA decided to make public today a report by its Inspector General about compliance with Section 702. This release – even with several important national-security redactions – is intended to add to the public’s understanding of NSA’s changes to Section 702 foreign intelligence collection. NSA’s January 7, 2016 Inspector General Report.


Section 702 was enacted as part of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), and it requires the Attorney General and the DNI to provide to the FISC annual certifications authorizing the Intelligence Community (IC) to target non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States to acquire certain categories of foreign intelligence information. The FAA is a carefully constructed framework that provides the Government with the tools necessary to collect vital foreign intelligence information and includes robust protections for the privacy and civil liberties of U.S. persons. This framework is implemented in part through a detailed set of procedures designed to minimize the acquisition, retention, use, and dissemination of U.S. person information acquired under Section 702.  For additional background information, please refer to the following documents previously released on IC on the Record: FISA Amendments Fact Sheet (posted on April 19, 2017), the FISC’s November 6, 2015 Memorandum Opinion and Order authorizing the 2015 Certifications (posted on April 15, 2016), the 2015 Section 702 Minimization Procedures (posted on August 11, 2016), and a Section 702 certification filing from 2014(posted on September 29, 2015).

The 2016 Section 702 Certifications: The FISC’s April 26, 2017 Memorandum Opinion and Order

In its April 2017 Opinion, the FISC concluded that the proposed certifications – including the associated targeting and minimization procedures – were consistent with FISA and the Fourth Amendment. In making its determination, the FISC considered the Government’s proposed Section 702 certifications submitted in September 2016 (“the 2016 Certifications”), the Government’s compliance record over the prior year (including a  thorough review of several specific compliance incidents), and amendments made to the 2016 Certifications in March 2017.

After submitting its 2016 Certifications in September 2016, the Department of Justice and ODNI learned, in October 2016, about additional information related to previously reported compliance incidents and reported that additional information to the FISC. The NSA also self-reported the information to oversight bodies, as required by law. These compliance incidents related to the NSA’s inadvertent use of U.S. person identifiers to query NSA’s “upstream” Internet collection acquired pursuant to Section 702.

Pursuant to statutory requirements, the FISC was required to complete its review of the 2016 Certifications within 30 days of submission. See 50 U.S.C. § 1881a(i)(1)(B). Thus, the FISC had until October 26, 2016, to issue an order concerning the 2016 Certifications. However, after the October 2016 report to the FISC regarding improper queries, the FISC twice extended its time to consider the 2016 Certifications – first until January 31, 2017, and then until April 28, 2017 – in order to receive additional information about the compliance incidents and the Government’s plan to address them. See April 2017 Opinion at 3-4. The previous year’s certifications remained in effect during these extension periods.

During the extension periods, NSA undertook a broad review of its Section 702 program. Historically, NSA has been authorized to acquire communications to, from, or “about” a Section 702 target (i.e., communications that contain a reference to a Section 702-tasked selector) through its upstream Internet collection. After considerable evaluation of the program and available technology, NSA determined that it would no longer collect communications “about” a target (see NSA’s April 28, 2017, public statement NSA Stops Certain Section 702 “Upstream” Activities.

Accordingly, in March 2017, the Government amended the 2016 Certifications, to include submitting to the FISC amended Section 702 targeting and minimization procedures for NSA that authorize only the acquisition of communications to or from a Section 702 target. In addition, the revised minimization procedures require NSA to delete the vast majority of previously acquired upstream Internet communications, including those to or from Section 702 targets. Because of the more restricted nature of NSA’s reconfigured upstream Internet collection, certain restrictions in the use of U.S. person identifiers to query Internet communications acquired through NSA’s Section 702 upstream collection have been removed. See April 2017 Opinion at 23-30.

In considering the 2016 Certifications, as amended in March 2017, the FISC determined that the changes NSA made to its upstream Internet collection sufficiently addressed the compliance incidents involving the inadvertent use of U.S. person identifiers as query terms. See April 2017 Opinion at 29. The Court expressed concern about the government’s reporting of the compliance incidents and emphasized that prior to their remediation these incidents presented “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.” April 2017 Opinion at 19. The FISC ultimately determined that NSA’s targeting and minimization procedures, as amended, were consistent with FISA and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. See April 2017 Opinion at 95.

Additionally, the 2016 Certifications authorized, for the first time, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to receive certain unevaluated counterterrorism information acquired pursuant to Section 702.   The FISC found that NCTC’s minimization procedures governing the handling of such information were consistent with FISA and the Fourth Amendment. See April 2017 Opinion at 30-48. Additional information regarding NCTC’s access to Section 702-acquired information is provided below.

In considering the targeting and/or minimization procedures for the NSA, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the FISC reviewed details of the government’s compliance with and implementation of Section 702 over the prior year. See April 2017 Opinion at 66-95. After addressing in detail several particular compliance issues, the FISC concluded that the Section 702 procedures were sufficient, based “in large measure on the extensive oversight conducted within the implementing agencies by” the Department of Justice and ODNI. April 2017 Opinion at 67. The FISC did, however, order that the Government submit written reports on some of these issues. See April 2017 Opinion at 96-99.

The FISC’s April 26, 2017 Memorandum Opinion and Order

The 2016 Section 702 Certifications: NSA’s March 2017 Minimization and Targeting Procedure

The 2016 Section 702 minimization and targeting procedures were approved by the Attorney General and submitted to the FISC as part of the Government’s September 26, 2016, reauthorization submission. These procedures are intended to protect the privacy and civil liberties of U.S. persons, as required by the Fourth Amendment and FISA, in connection with the foreign intelligence activities undertaken by the NSA, FBI, CIA, and NCTC.

The minimization procedures detail requirements the government must meet to use, retain, and disseminate Section 702 data, which include specific restrictions on how the IC handles non-publicly available U.S. person information acquired from Section 702 collection of non-U.S. person targets, consistent with the needs of the government to obtain, produce, and disseminate foreign intelligence information.

The targeting procedures detail the requirements that the government must take before tasking a selector, as well as verification steps after tasking, to ensure that the user of the tasked selector is being targeted appropriately under Section 702 – specifically, that the user is, and remains, a non-U.S. person, located outside the United States, whose selector is being tasked to acquire foreign intelligence information. An individual determination must be made that each tasked selector meets the requirements of the targeting procedures.

Only NSA and FBI have targeting procedures because these two agencies are the only two agencies permitted to directly engage in targeting and the acquisition of information pursuant to Section 702. The CIA and NCTC have only minimization procedures and do not have targeting procedures because neither is permitted to directly engage in targeting or acquisition; CIA and NCTC may only receive Section 702-acquired information. 

As explained above, NSA’s 2016 Section 702 minimization and targeting procedures were revised to address changes to NSA’s upstream collection. These revised procedures were subsequently approved by the Attorney General and submitted to the FISC on March 30, 2017. After thorough consideration, the FISC approved the NSA’s revised procedures submitted in March 2017 in the FISC’s April 2017 Opinion

Approved by the FISC’s April 2017 Order:

The 2016 Section 702 Certifications: Documents Submitted to FISC in September 2016

On September 26, 2016, the Government submitted to the FISC its 2016 Section 702 certification application package, of which the applicable documents were provided to the ACLU as part of the ACLU FOIA May 10, 2017 release. Included in today’s release are the FBI, CIA, and NCTC minimization procedures and the FBI targeting procedures that were submitted to the FISC on September 26, 2016, and subsequently approved as part of the April 2017 Opinion.

Previously, NCTC received certain evaluated counterterrorism information acquired pursuant to Section 702 (see NCTC’s 2015 Section 702 Minimization Procedures, posted on IC on the Record on August 11, 2016). Previously, in 2012, the FISC authorized NCTC to receive raw counterterrorism information from the FBI under Titles I and III of FISA provided that NCTC likewise handled, retained, and disseminated such information pursuant to FISC-approved minimization procedures (see IC on the Record’s Release of Documents Concerning Activities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: Sharing of Unminimized Information Collected Pursuant to Titles I and III of FISA, posted on March 3, 2015, including NCTC’s Titles I and III minimization procedures posted on September 29, 2015).

As further explained in NCTC’s May 10, 2017 public statement, NCTC’s new procedures do not authorize NCTC to directly engage in targeting or acquisition. Rather, the procedures authorize NCTC to receive certain intelligence information that has already been collected by targeting non-U.S. persons outside the United States pursuant to Section 702 of FISA. This does not include upstream FISA collection.

Also included in this ACLU FOIA May 10, 2017 release pursuant to applicable FOIA requirements are the NSA September 26, 2016, targeting and minimizations procedures that were subsequently revised and replaced by their March 30, 2017, versions.

FISC’s Order Extending the 2016 Certifications dated October 26, 2016

Approved by the FISC’s April 2017 Order:

Replaced by NSA’s March 2017 procedures above:

Other Documents Originally Submitted to the FISC on September 26, 2016:


Other FISA Section 702 and Related Documents

On April 11, 2017, the Government provided fifteen (15) applicable documents related to Section 702 of FISA as part of the ACLU FOIA April 11, 2017, release. ACLU posted those on their website and we are posting the same documents provided as part of the ACLU FOIA April 11, 2017, release below.

 ACLU April 2017 Production 1

ACLU April 2017 Production 2

ACLU April 2017 Production 3

ACLU April 2017 Production 4

ACLU April 2017 Production 5

On July 11, 2017, the Government provided  six (6) documents related to Section 702 of FISA to the ACLU.

ACLU July 2017 Production 1

ACLU July 2017 Production 2

ACLU July 2017 Production 3

Alexander and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton had eight children:

Philip - The eldest Hamilton was named after his grandfather, Revolutionary general Philip Schuyler. In 1801 he got into an argument with George Eacker at the Park Theater and was fatally wounded in the subsequent duel—not far from the spot in New Jersey where his father would fall three years later.

Angelica - Her brother’s death caused her to have a nervous breakdown, and though her father tried to perk her up with gifts of parakeets and watermelons, she never improved and was an invalid until her death at 72.

Alexander - Born in May 1786, he graduated from Columbia College. He learned military tactics in the Duke of Wellington’s army in Portugal and served as a U.S. captain in the War of 1812. He became a U.S. district attorney in New York.

James Alexander - He was a major in the War of 1812, was briefly acting secretary of state under President Andrew Jackson, and dealt in Manhattan real estate. As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District in New York, he was in the city when the Great Fire of 1835 hit, and he lit one of the fuses that blew up buildings to create a firebreak to help stop the blaze.

John Church - He was an aide-de-camp to Gen. William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812 and edited his father’s writing.

William Stephen - The son who looked the most like his father fought in the Black Hawk War and was a U.S. surveyor of public lands in Illinois before heading to California in the gold rush.

Eliza - She married Sidney Holley, and after his death she lived with her mother and helped maintain her father’s papers.

Philip “Little Phil”-  was an assistant U.S. Attorney in New York and judge advocate of the U.S. Naval Retiring Board.

—  6 Things You Didn’t Know About Alexander Hamilton (Time - from the currently available TIME Special Edition “Alexander Hamilton: A Founding Father’s Visionary Genius—and His Tragic Fate”)

nicocoer  asked:

Have you heard about the tumblr using bots to perma ban people who uploaded music, and because it's bots even stuff under fair use is likely to be flagged for perma bans?

fyeahcopyright has heard reports about this and seen the FAQ about what may be going on, the script so people can find what they need to delete if they’re concerned about this, and a how-someone-got-her-account-restored FAQ but we are still looking into (a) whether this is still happening, (b) whether this was a glitch that staff is working to fix, and © whether vids and other transformative works that are clearly Fair Use that people have uploaded here on tumblr could also be caught up in all this. 

We’ll have a broader post later today once we’ve learned answers to these questions. 

We also wanted to address the issue of DMCA takedown notices in general. The DMCA, or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, has been part of US law for almost 20 years, and means that a service provider like tumblr is not responsible for copyright infringement if they remove infringing works - and yes, uploading a song that you don’t hold a license to or the copyright in can be infringing but if it’s a Fair Use then under US law it isn’t infringing because Fair Use is a lawful use of a copyrighted work

Keep reading

In a blistering letter to the Education Department’s top lawyer on Monday, the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that the investigation also showed that six school districts, which serve more than 50,000 elementary students, did not have a single school that is fully accessible.

“Nowhere is it more important to tear down the barriers to equal access than with respect to the education of our children,” Mr. Bharara’s office said. “But today, in New York City, 25 years after passage of the A.D.A., children with physical disabilities still do not have equal access to this most fundamental of rights.”

Mr. Bharara, in a brief statement, said his office had asked the city for a response to the findings, “including an outline and timeline of corrective actions that will remedy this unacceptable state of affairs.”

The 14-page letter gives the city 30 days to provide a response. The investigation had not been previously disclosed publicly.

Tom Brady Wins the Long Game

On Thursday, Judge Richard M. Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a ruling vacating the N.F.L.’s four-game suspension of the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The N.F.L. will appeal the decision, but will not seek a stay to keep Brady off the field, meaning that he will start in the Patriots opening game next week against the Steelers. Gronk is pleased. Massachusetts billboards are already rejoicing. Judge Berman will surely drink for free the next time he’s in Boston.

What’s next in Deflategate? Ian Crouch reports.

Photograph by Mary Altaffer / AP

Saying that Dinesh D’Souza had not yet accepted responsibility for his crime, prosecutors asked a federal judge in Manhattan on Wednesday to sentence the best-selling conservative author and filmmaker to 10 to 16 months in prison for violating campaign finance laws.

The request by the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, comes before Mr. D’Souza’s scheduled Sept. 23 sentencing for illegally making donations through straw donors to the 2012 United States Senate campaign of Wendy E. Long, a Republican candidate who was challenging Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a Democrat.

In seeking a prison term for Mr. D’Souza, 53, the government disputed his lawyer’s contention in recent court papers that his client had “unequivocally accepted responsibility” for his crime.

“The defendant pled guilty at the last possible moment before trial began,” prosecutors wrote, “not because he actually accepted responsibility for his conduct, but because he was in fact guilty and he had no defense or excuse for his criminal conduct.”

“The defendant’s crime is serious and strikes at the heart of our federal election system,” prosecutors added.

A federal judge in New York on Friday ruled that the National Security Agency’s program that is systematically keeping phone records of all Americans is lawful, creating a conflict among lower courts and increasing the likelihood that the issue will be resolved by the Supreme Court.

In the ruling, Judge William H. Pauley III, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted a motion filed by the federal government to dismiss a challenge to the program brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had tried to halt the program.

Judge Pauley said that protections under the Fourth Amendment do not apply to records held by third parties, like phone companies.

“This blunt tool only works because it collects everything,” Judge Pauley said in the ruling.

“While robust discussions are underway across the nation, in Congress and at the White House, the question for this court is whether the government’s bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds it is,” he added.

The ruling comes nearly two weeks after Judge Richard J. Leon of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia said the program most likely violated the Fourth Amendment. As part of the ruling, Judge Leon ordered the government to stop collecting data on two plaintiffs who brought the case against the government.

In his ruling, Judge Leon said that the program “infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment,” which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

While Judge Leon ordered the government to stop collecting data on the two plaintiffs, he stayed the ruling, giving the government time to appeal the decision.